The University of Tampa, known for its distinctive architectural heritage and commitment to cultural enrichment, has made a significant stride in public art installations. The ARS Sonora Project, a unique and beautiful construction project, has brought a new dimension of artistic expression to the campus. Standard Brick Pavers was selected to work in partnership with The Beck Group on this amazing project which is a testament to the possibilities of combining art, architecture, and landscape design.
ARS Sonora, translating to “the art of sound,” was envisioned as a space that could engage multiple senses, particularly sight, and sound. The design aimed to create a dynamic and interactive environment that could be a focal point for the university community, fostering social engagement, contemplation, and inspiration.
The Construction Process
Standard Brick Pavers, a leading name in the paver industry known for its innovative and high-quality work, was tasked with constructing the hardscapes within the ARS Sonora Project. Standard Brick Pavers has a reputation for transforming vision into brick paver hardscapes that surpass client expectations. Their expertise in handling intricate designs and challenging hardcapes made them the perfect fit for this ambitious project.
We collaborated closely with The Beck Group, a full-service architecture, construction, and development firm. The Beck Group’s rich history and deep understanding of design and construction facilitated the complex, multi-disciplinary approach demanded by the ARS Sonora Project.
About The Design
The ARS Sonora Project was conceived as an art installation that could seamlessly integrate with the existing architecture and natural environment of the University of Tampa campus. The design incorporated elements that interact with the environment, creating visual and auditory sensations.
From a bird’s eye view, some see the design resembling a lotus flower. The lotus, or flower, used one kind of clay brick that comes in a range of colors and is edged in a slightly darker shade clay brick.The installation is approximately 20,000 square feet.
A total of 14,595 bricks were used in the installation around the ARS Sonora water feature which accounts for a cut count of 29,186. The architect crafted the design to radiate out like spokes of a wheel from the Sonora. Within each spoke was another pattern running through it with an alternate color. Each brick had to be hand labeled and then brought to site and laid piece by piece and spoke by spoke.
This intricate installation was constructed using various materials, including brick, stone, steel, and glass, all selected for their durability, aesthetic appeal, and acoustic properties. Standard Brick Pavers demonstrated their craftsmanship in the intricate brickwork patterns that form the backbone of the design. These patterns provide a striking visual element and contribute to the installation’s acoustic effects. It is pretty safe to say there is no installation like this anywhere else in the country or quite possibly the world.
Upon completion, the ARS Sonora Project has undoubtedly become a significant landmark within the University of Tampa. With its unique interplay of materials, shapes, and sounds, the installation has transformed the campus, offering students, faculty, and visitors a place to engage, relax, and reflect.
Students can be found studying or engaging in thoughtful conversations amid the soothing sounds emanating from the installation. Meanwhile, visitors marvel at the artistic and engineering prowess that the project represents.
The University of Tampa: ARS Sonora Project is an exemplary collaboration between The Beck Group and Standard Brick Pavers, demonstrating their ability to turn an ambitious artistic vision into a functional and inspiring public art installation. This successful project has set a new benchmark in public art installations, with its intricate design, soothing sounds, and dynamic interplay with the environment enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the university campus.
The project embodies the spirit of the ‘art of sound’ and encourages interaction and immersion, symbolizing the university’s commitment to fostering a culturally diverse environment that inspires creativity and innovation. It serves as a reminder of the transformative power of art in enhancing our daily lives, fostering a sense of community, and sparking thought-provoking conversations.
The collaboration on this project showcases the dedication of both Standard Brick Pavers and The Beck Group to pushing the boundaries of their respective fields, and the success of this project sets a precedent for future collaborations between installers and design firms. The ARS Sonora Project has also brought a new level of recognition to both companies and enhanced their portfolios.
To summarize, the University of Tampa: ARS Sonora Project is an exceptional fusion of art, architecture, and sound, demonstrating the limitless possibilities when collaborative efforts and innovative design come together. This project will continue to inspire and engage the university community and beyond for years to come, showcasing the transformative power of public art in creating engaging and vibrant spaces.