There is no rule that says it takes a fine artist to build a fine arts complex, but the winner of the University of Connecticut’s architectural competition just might change that.

World-renowned architect Frank Gehry has been named the winner of a recent architectural competition held by the University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts. As the winning designer, Gehry, who teamed with New Haven-based Herbert S. Newman and Partners for the competition, will provide a conceptual model for an integrated Fine Arts Complex.

Gehry, who is perhaps best known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and his team were chosen last Friday as the winning architect at the culmination of a design competition that spanned several months and attracted top names from the architectural world.

“During all stages of the competition, it was clear that Mr. Gehry and his team were enthusiastic about this project and had a clear understanding of the school and the university’s vision,” said David Woods, dean of the School of Fine Arts. “We’re thrilled that a design by architects as well-known and well-respected as Mr. Gehry and Mr. Newman will one day grace our campus.”

The winning design integrates the existing School of Fine Arts buildings into one design, features a building that connects directly to a proposed village green and uses Gehry’s trademark metal roofing. The design was unveiled Friday when Gehry and two other competition finalists presented their ideas for the new building to a jury of architects and university representatives, as well as UConn President Philip E. Austin.

After seeing presentations from each of the three finalists, the jury reviewed each architect’s designs and models and selected Gehry and his team as the winner.

More than 50 architects entered the design competition. The contest was funded by a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which was matched by the university. Seven architects were chosen to come to the campus in March to make presentations to a committee comprised of School of Fine Arts faculty members. That group was then whittled down to three well-known architects: Gehry and Newman; Zaha Hadid, whose designs include the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati; and Mack Scogin/Merrill Elam Architects, who designed the law library at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

Gehry and Newman’s multimillion-dollar design will be built with funds from various sources, including 21st Century UConn and private donations. 21st Century UConn is an 11-year, $1.3 billion project that begins in 2004-2005. The board of trustees is responsible for determining the sequence in which all buildings constructed with 21st Century UConn funds will be built.

The School of Fine Arts offers programs in art and art history, dramatic arts and music, with primary emphasis on professional preparation of students for careers in the arts, both as practitioners and as educators. The school also includes the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, the William Benton Museum of Art and the Ballard Institute of Puppetry. Currently, the School of Fine Arts’ various divisions and areas are scattered throughout nearly 20 different buildings on campus. The planned project will permit the school to bring all of its academic programs together in one complex on the southeast corner of the Storrs campus.