Salina Art Center ARTery

Prefabrication for remote construction

  • Type Cultural / Public
  • Location Salina, Kansas
  • Status Phase one completed
  • Date 2011
  • Project Partners

    Salina Art Center:
    Chris Cook, Director

    Troy Vancil

    Cornhusker State Industries:
    Travis Atwood
    Jeremy Elder
    Kate Severin


Working from a facilities master plan developed by Min | Day (now Actual Architecture Co.) FACT designed and built the first phase of the Salina Art Center expansion project.

“Founded in 1978, the Salina Art Center is a nonprofit contemporary art and education center creating exchanges among art, artists, and audiences that reveal life. The Art Center’s programming is connected to a schedule of contemporary visual art exhibitions of work by regional, national, and international artists in a wide variety of media. Exhibitions serve as a catalyst for generating conversations around ideas and issues relevant to personal and community development.” 

These critical exchanges occur throughout the Art Center’s three buildings, all located around the center of the city: the Galleries, the Cinema, and the Warehouse art residency studio, but the most direct connections with the public take place in the ARTery, an art education and public event space that serves as the entry point to the Gallery building. Actual Architecture Co.’s master plan focuses on enhancing linkages between the ARTery and the city beyond, and FACT’s role was to build an exciting and engaging infrastructure to support the activities of the public, artists, and curators. Similar to the Bemis Info Shop, the ARTery is a place of intersection between the producers and consumers of culture – where artists and audiences meet.

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The ARTery, a public art education space opening to a patio on a mid block alley path.
Design via large-scaled physical models.

Working at one end of the existing bow truss building, FACT designed built and installed three components: a folding set of computer workstations and art material storage cabinet, a bookcase/bench with a door to the existing studio classroom, and a set of modular work tables (the PenTables were subsequently developed by Min | Day’s furniture line MOD. See Actual Architecture Co. for details of the PenTable system).

FACT always works in teams. Throughout the semester, task-oriented teams come together for studio-wide design charrettes and “office meetings” to ensure that the work is coordinated and all students have exposure to each aspect of the project. The design process is loose, improvisational, but always relates part and whole, design to fabrication, and concept to the vagaries of human life.

Presentation to the Board, held at Bemis Center in Omaha.

The ARTery workstations.

The BookBench wall signifies the entrance to the the art studio / classroom.

Panel perforations optimized to replace existing HVAC diffusers (revised duct runs planned for future phase).

Building modules in the Architecture Hall shop in Lincoln.

Unconventional Co-Creation

FACT students developed digital models, prototyped components, programmed fabrication code while working in partnership with inmates in a workforce development program at the Lincoln Correctional Center, a medium-security state prison. The inmates digitally-fabricated certain components and parts based entirely on FACT generated computer files. FACT completed all installation and finishing  in conjunction with Salina builder Troy Vancil. Due to the remote location – Salina is 3 hours from Lincoln – the project was in modules designed to fit in a single truck to be installed by students in Salina over the course of a 3-day weekend.

FACT designed the modules with self-jigging connections to expedite on-site assembly.

Transporting modules from Lincoln to Salina for installation.

Assembly and initial finishes applied in 3-days.

Project Team

Jesse Alvizar, Chantal Bonner, Gabee Cho, Jason Culbertson, Parker Edick, Lucas Feigan, Gregory Gettman, Jessica Graves, Taylor Hammack, Zachary Johnson, Dennis Krymuza, Cale Lancaster, Jennifer Meister, Karl Mielke jr., Michelle Morehead, Holden Rasmussen, Grant Ronchi, Darin Russell, Daniel Scott, Nolan Stevens, Scott Sommer, Emily Van Court, Bryce Willis

Nick Pajerski, Bryce Willis

Photography By Jeffrey L. Day
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