Ringling College of Art & Design

Signature Academic Building


We believe that the Signature Academic Building can embrace and enhance the context of place of the larger arts community that makes Ringling and Sarasota special. The programs that it will support are essential in the growth of Ringling. Our design obligation for this building is to create an armature that will encourage multidisciplinary connections, creating opportunities for serendipitous social interactions that contribute to the development of ideas.

At the same time, it must reach out to the larger arts community in Sarasota, showcasing the work of the Ringling community. We are struck by the importance of making this building a passageway into the Ringling experience.

We appreciate our connection with Ringling College of Art and Design through the Goldstein Library experience, and we look forward to continuing this creative relationship.

Shepley Bulfinch’s Academic Design Experience


Shepley Bulfinch has worked around the country with campus partners to design buildings that enhance the campus landscape, push academic boundaries, and create welcoming environments for the community.   

Our expertise is built on a foundation of listening–our design process is a true collaboration with your campus. We want to get to what makes your institution unique–today and in the future. 

From exploring the latest pedagogy in active learning to spaces that allow for collaboration and creation to flourish, we are committed to an academic experience that serves the students, faculty, and staff of your campus for years to come. 

We bring a team of designers who love being on campus and who bring a deep experience of design for higher education. Many on our team worked on the Goldstein Library, and they are very excited to be back with you today. 



Sid Bowen, AIA
Principal in Charge

Angela Watson, FAIA
Principal for Design

Kalyn Pavlinic, NCIDQ
Interiors & Programming Lead


Bob Mohr, AIA
Lead Designer

John Jarvis, AIA
Project Manager

Ana Villanueva

Alfred R. Goldstein Library 


Designed by Shepley Bulfinch, Ringling’s Goldstein Library is a vibrant center for study and learning, incorporating Ringling’s culture of creation in a sun-soaked space for research.  

The result of a robust engagement process with the Ringling community, the library is an integral partner in the creative process and academic community.  

From a transparent display of collections to open air terraces, students and campus community can find inspiration throughout the building. 


Award-winning design

2019 AIA Florida/Caribbean Honor Award of Excellence

2018 ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award

2018 AIA Gulf Coast Honor Award

2017 SRQ Magazine Best of the Year | Public Building/Public Space Gold Winner



Testing furniture out for Goldstein Library

Designing the Signature Building

The design thoughts discussed today respond to the call Ringling College of Art and Design put forward, based around the guiding principles and vision for this project – a design that makes a statement, showcases technology and art while engaging in collaboration across disciplines, all while maintaining flexibility for a more resilient campus.

Our process, discussions, and previous experience with your campus focused on how Ringling meets the world, supports its people and leads the conversation in design, and how your campus may evolve. We examined the push and pull of the site, the need for public space showcasing the work of your academic community, while maintaining space for private study and creation.

Our proposed design is waiting for your input and inspiration, anchored to the campus and community with a civic plinth that molds to fit Tamiami Trail and campus movement, and capped by an academic loft that offers flexible spaces for students, faculty and staff to explore their fields of art and design that are continually evolving. Pulled together around a central chamber, this design responds to its site, allowing for natural daylight throughout the building, and views out and across the campus and the city. The signature building balances an academic interior that encourages collaboration and discovery, and an exterior that showcases the energy and creativity of Ringling.

We have been eagerly awaiting this conversation with you, and we can’t wait to continue.