In 2006 The Salina Art Center issued a request for proposals for the renovation of an existing warehouse space in downtown Salina, challenging respondents to “reﬂect the organization’s mission of linking art, audiences, and artists” while meeting programmatic requirements for provision of studio space accommodating a range of equipment and art making processes, an artist residence, multi-purpose educational space, an ofﬁce and library, general storage space, and public restrooms.
Sabatini Architects responded with a design not simply to resolve the pragmatic answers for the space, but to provide a spot for resident artists and visitors to engage and discover each other naturally. The proposal envisioned a ‘VIEW BOX,’ an open recessed entry vestibule al¬lowing casual encounters between pedestrians and the artist and a ‘LIGHT BOX,’ an elevated artist residence above the studio.
After conﬁrming the project budget, the residence was re-located to the ground ﬂoor, but designed in a way that would allow the roof top residence to be built in a future phase. The library/ofﬁce space and a small kitchenette and sink room were designed as free-standing boxes that could also be constructed in future phases. The space includes a classroom, workshop and residency for the artist. The classroom and workshop are large ﬂexible spaces with movable walls that modulate the spaces’ sizes and uses.
The project was made possible through a number of donations and volunteer labor from Art Center patrons and donated materials from Salina businesses including structural steel and a rooﬁng system.