Call Detail
Weber State University Noorda Engineering - Utah Public Art
300 S. Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Utah
Entry Deadline: 4/10/20
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 10
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 10

Request for qualifications from interested artists or artist teams to create site-specific artwork(s) for the new Weber State Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building in Ogden, UT


Situated on the north end of the Weber State University Ogden campus the Noorda Engineering Building will serve as the new home for the College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology (EAST).  The building will house academic classrooms and labs for the departments of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, the School of Computing and Sales.   In partnership with the WSU functions, the building will also house science and engineering classrooms, as well as administrative spaces, for the early college High School: NUAMES (Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering and Science).

As the campus is situated on the bench of the Wasatch Mountains, the Noorda Engineering Building is nestled into the east rising natural grade.  This allows the building to have on grade access at multiple levels.  At the west, all four floors of the building as exposed with an entrance at Level 0 from the A2 parking lot and access to the Student Outreach program and Maker Space.  It is here that community and public outreach programs are hosted, with open access from the Maker Space into the building, as well as out to a north plaza.

On the main campus grade, there are major student entrances at the north and south of the building providing access to Level 1.  Both entrances are connected through the building’s large, communal student forum space.  The forum is a three-story volume, with a communicating stair connecting the floors, and student study balconies lining the opening. The forum will be used for student study, events, engineering project display and speakers.  As the primary public level, this floor hosts active student spaces, including mechanical and engineering labs, club space, student study and senior projects shops.  Organized at the north end of the building the senior projects labs open to an outdoor engineering yard with direct access to the adjacent high bay Concept Center.  

As the campus slope rises on grade, access is available to the east at Level 2. With student drop off access, this entrance serves as the primary entry for NUAMES students. The top floor of the building, Level 3, can be considered the “clean” floor, housing the departments of School of Computing and Sales. Administrative Offices are stacked on Floors 1 – 3, on the west elevation.

Engineering on display is integral into the design of the building.  The building systems themselves are on display throughout the building, including exposed air distribution ducts that rise up along the west wall of the forum.  Structural bracing is exposed and celebrated along the perimeter.  Rather than being hidden, the building mechanical and electrical rooms are open and visible to the public, with educating environmental graphics describing the systems.  On the exterior of the building, sunshades are organized into patterns demonstrating concepts of engineering.  Even the lower level brick pattern denotes elements of engineering. 

A successful proposal would convey and/or demonstrate principles of engineering and/or science and might also have a sustainability component, either in function or content.  Examples might include basic machines (pulleys, incline plane, gears, etc.), kinetic work, demonstrations of scientific principles (ie.,vacuum tubes demonstrating gravity) or a real-time digital representation of how the building functions, work which uses the building’s form and/or site in a meaningful way, interactive work with science or engineering content, etc.  The artwork proposed may be singular or consist of multiple works which function together. Proposed work should reflect and compliment the engineering and applied science instruction and research mission of the building and those who use it. Please review the building plans and illustrations carefully and consider both interior and exterior spaces, and the unique possibilities afforded by the building’s design. In addition, the possibility of an outdoor in-ground labyrinth pattern has been discussed by faculty and staff in the college.

The Committee has identified several areas that may be suitable for an artist’s interpretation but will remain open to other areas as envisioned by the finalist artists. These identified areas include the forum space, building entrances at Level 1, and the building entrance plazas (at Levels 0, 1 and 2).   The space North of level 0 and 1 will likely become popular public gathering spaces with an outdoor forum envisioned there.  The exterior south wall of the High Bay building faces the engineering yard and will be visible to Nuames high school students, and college-level ME, EE, and CS students.  The building entrance at level 0 and the open area there will be programmed for K-12 recruitment and/or outreach by the College.  In addition, the forum space is slated to have one or more high-end digital screens. This screen(s) could be used for occasional presentations but we envision them as principally presenting digital art.

 The selected artist(s) will be working collaboratively with the project committee to develop and design work(s) that contribute to the learning environment that is this building.

Weber State University (WSU) is a comprehensive public university providing associate, bachelor and master's degrees focused on the educational needs of the more than 500,000 people within a service area centered in Ogden, in Northern Utah. Currently, WSU serves both community college and regional university roles through seven academic colleges with more than fifty academic departments offering more than 230 programs. WSU’s 800 full- and part-time faculty provide education in online and traditional classes.

WSU’s engaged learning model includes learning opportunities in undergraduate research, community based and service learning, internships, capstone courses and other forms of experiential learning. As a Carnegie Community Engaged institution, WSU students, faculty and staff contribute well over 100,000 hours of service to the community.

The City of Ogden is nestled against the Wasatch Mountains, with an Olympic ski resort and other high adventure hot spots just minutes to the east and fantastic views of the Great Salt Lake located to the west. Two major rivers, the Ogden and Weber flow through the city on their way to the Great Salt Lake and are a playground for waterfowl, fish and human visitors alike. Ogden enjoys four distinct seasons, with temperatures ranging from the mid-20s in January to the mid-80s in July.

Ogden has its roots in the railroad industry as the Junction City of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed at the historic Golden Spike location at Promontory Summit in 1869. For several decades Ogden was touted as the major passenger railroad junction of the West, owing to its central location for both major east-west and north-south rail routes. This led to the business community developing the catch phrase, “you can’t go anywhere without coming to Ogden.”

Ogden’s recent, nationally renowned renaissance has been driven by the recognition that economic and social development hinge on the importance of an integral creative population and relationships that reach across talent pools, creating an energetic and forward-moving community.

The project budget is up to $410,000 for all related expenses of this Public Art commission(s) or purchase including (but not limited to) artist fees, fabrication, framing insurance, shipping, travel, installation, documentation, etc. Please be advised the Selection Committee may commission more than one artist.

Resident US citizen or legal resident artists / artist teams are eligible to apply for this project. Utah artists are strongly encouraged to apply.  Art Selection Committee members, staff and Board of Utah Arts & Museums, and VCBO Architects are not eligible to apply for this commission. 

Register at and follow the directions for registration and submitting material for this Public Art Request for Qualifications   

Required Application Materials
1.       Letter of Interest: Briefly describe your interest in this project and how your work may relate. If you have a concept in mind you may include that information. 5000 Maximum Character Limit

2.       Visual support materials: Visual representations of your work in up to ten still images and/or up to six moving image files – for total of 10 samples maximum. (jpg files under 5MB –Video files: MOV, MP4, WMV, 3GP, AVI, ASF, MPG, M2T, MKV, M2TS under 100 MB - Audio files: AIFF, WAV, XMF, MP3 under 10 MB

3.       CV/Resume: Upload up to three pages.

Faxed or e-mailed applications cannot be accepted. The Art Selection Committee reserves the right to withhold the award of a commission or re-release the call for entries. 


The Selection Committee will review all properly submitted qualifications from which a short list of semi-finalists will be selected. Semi-finalists will be asked present a full proposal to the committee on June 18, 2020 to include concept, budget and time-line. All semi-finalists will be awarded an honorarium to help defray the costs of the development of the proposal. The honorarium will be applied toward the commission amount for the artist(s) awarded the commission(s.)

Deadline: April 10, 2020

Committee reviews applications: April 23, 2020

Finalist presentations: June 18, 2020                                    

Summer 2022: Building project completion / move in



Chad Downs- Weber State University (WSU) – Project Manager
David Ferro – WSU – Dean – College of Applied Science & Technology
Mark Halverson – WSU – Associate V.P. Facilities and Campus Planning
Tim Parkinson – State of Utah – Project Manager
Norm Tarbox – WSU – V.P. Administrative Services
Celestia Carson – VCBO Architecture
Paul Crow – WSU – Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts & Design

*Images courtesy VCBO Architects



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