Designed by internationally known architect Will Bruder, the Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts is a four level, 60,000 square-foot building that has become one of the most distinguished architectural achievements in Nevada. Inspired by the landscape and the unique geological formations of the Black Rock Desert, the Museum is a striking addition to downtown Reno, an architectural icon, and an environmental statement about our surroundings. The design for the Museum incorporates Bruder’s sculptural design style and highlights his unique sense of space, movement, materials, and light.
The Museum features 15,337 square feet of gallery space, a 180 seat multi-media theater, library, museum store and Café Musée, as well as ground level and rooftop sculpture galleries offering views of Reno’s skyline as well as the Sierra Nevada mountain range. One of the most dynamic features of the building is the 68 ft. high and 250 ft. long torqued exterior wall. The wall is constructed with nine steel columns which tilt from 5 to 12 degrees creating angles which change depending on where and how the wall is viewed. The wall is sided with ANTHRA-ZINC®, a black material made of zinc that has been creased and folded to create a pattern based on the rock textures found in the Black Rock Desert.
Another key architectural element is the Museum's central atrium which spans in height from 59 feet (north) to 63 feet (south). The staircase is installed through the center of the atrium, allowing visitors to climb 55 feet to the fourth floor rooftop landing. The staircase is lit by five skylights and is suspended by a single beam anchored from the atrium ceiling.