The School of Fine Arts was the first group to re-locate to the Ilam site in 1957. They moved into the old Okeover homestead with a few additions.
Over the following 18 years many plans were made to build a purpose built facility for the School. However through various circumstances this was never achieved.
In March 1975 the School suffered a large fire the cause of which was unknown. This displaced 66 students and staff from their already temporary buildings
Chronicle March 1975 (PDF1.12MB)
Images of the School after the fire 1975
The Government and the University Grants Committee quickly approved funding for a new facility and equipment. The University was grateful and Professor Phillips said "When the old temporary buildings were finally removed the last blemish on the face of the campus would also go".
Chronicle April 1975 (PDF986KB)
The University approved sketch plans by architects MacKenzie and Hall in October 1975, only seven months after the fire.
The new school occupied 2.5 acres of land between the Geography and Psychology departments and the Clyde Road car parks.
The school was constructed in three connected blocks. Studio and staff studies in one, administration, reference collections and tutorial rooms in another, and studios and workshops in the third. The courtyards between were to be used for display. All the blocks had high roofs and skylights to provide the maximum amount of natural light.
School of Arts plan from The Work of Hall & Mackenzie 1965 - 1985