Here you can learn more about the facilities we use for the Upper School visual arts classes, find out about the equipment we have in our studios and view the plans and photos of the visual arts studios and storage areas at the FIS Main Campus.
Art Studios for the Future: How FIS Designed the ideal Visual Arts teaching arena for 21st century students
The art studios at FIS, completed in 2006, are the result of years of planning. Designs for these studios began with rough sketches made by the art teachers in consultation with the project manager and the architects at H2L2, who ultimately designed the facilities. Care was taken to ensure that the new studios were the ideal teaching environs for students pursuing the International Baccalaureate program in art, from grade 6 to 12. The new facilities were designed as replacements for the aging and painfully cramped art studios which we had used for the previous twenty plus years. Though adequate, these old studios lacked light, storage space and sufficient plumbing for our increased needs.
The old Upper School art studios, in the 1988 building, were well-equipped, however. In fact, they were so full that they had begun to outgrow their usefulness. All of the equipment in the old studios was transferred to the new facilities with us when we moved in October 2006, where we enjoy a greater amount of both storage and studio space.
Each of our current three studios include a north-facing 9 square meter skylight (with blackout-screens) for superb lighting throughout the school day. There are separate offices/storage facilities for each member of the faculty and a distinct, fire-proofed kiln-room and clay storage area. Each art studio is in excess of 104 square meters and has its own fume hood/spray booth, multiple purpose-designed stainless steel sinks, separated trash bins, over 36 square meters of cabinet/shelving space and specially designed movable wall-panels which travel in grooves along the ceiling and can be positioned virtually anywhere along the main axis of the studio. Each studio is outfitted with an interactive Sympodium, projection screens and a digital beamer fixed to the ceiling, with the school's WLAN available throughout. All three studios face the Taunus mountain range to the northwest and have floor to ceiling windows and doors along the west and north walls, which open onto a massive continuous terrace/balcony overlooking the forest and the artificial-turf football pitch. A dedicated, sky-lit art gallery of 36 square meters has also been designed into the new extension. This allows for regular rotating art exhibits.
Above left: Movable walls in each of the studios provide space for large scale work. Middle: Five storage rooms for art supplies. Right: The kiln room with sculpture and ceramics storage for the department. All storage rooms and studios are equipped with auto-close fire doors and specialized ventilation systems for health and safety. Ceramic tile floors in the studios resist staining and allow for easy clean up.
Above: Concept sketches originally proposed by the art teachers at FIS (left), a beginning site plan (middle) and the more developed studio plans with balcony and light wells (right). The planning and design of the facilities at FIS began with the direct input of the faculty and students who would be using them.
Above: Dedicated gallery space throughout the Da Vinci Center with over 180 meters of hanging rail ensure year-round, high quality exhibition space for all ages and grade levels of the Upper School's visual arts classes.