A £7 million addition to the sprawling University of Lincoln campus will showcase sculpture and boast a public art space.
The new art and design building will begin to take shape between the iconic architecture site and the school of engineering on the Brayford Campus later this year.
It has been approved by planners and should be completed by the start of the new academic year in 2013.
The building will provide a new home for courses including fine art, graphic design, conservation, fashion studies and illustration which are currently spread out across the city.
It means students will be withdrawn from Thomas Parker House, in Silver Street, the Greenstone Building, in Lindum Road, and Chad Varah House, in Wordsworth Street.
The four-storey building will include a series of classrooms and seminar spaces, large open plan studios, smaller studios, state-of-the-art Mac suites and staff office space.
And it will incorporate a low-level section of the building that preserves an uninterrupted view of Lincoln Cathedral from Tritton Road.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ieuan Owen said: "We are continually re-investing in our campus and facilities to enhance the student experience and are delighted that we now have the go-ahead to construct another iconic building on the main Brayford Campus.
"The new art and design building will have a high spec finish, but be industrial in feel, with exposed bricks and timber boarding that can be used to exhibit student work. It will be light and airy creating a welcoming space for students, staff and visitors.
"Using the new gallery and sculpture terrace spaces, we hope to create an exciting programme of events showcasing work by local and international artists that will attract and engage the public and contribute to Lincoln's growing arts scene."
But Jade Maloney, a 21-year-old MA conservation student, said that studying in the historic Chad Varah House is what drew her to the University of Lincoln in the first place.
She said: "Although the new building is going to have snazzy new facilities and equipment, what sold the conservation course to me was the historic Chad Varah building.
"It's great that the university is continuing to invest money into their buildings although it was the chance learn in such beautiful surroundings that really sold it to me."
Nicholas Baker, a 22-year-old conservation student, added: "The plus points of Lincoln being a small city is that you can take advantage of the cultural areas and the historic landmarks like Lincoln Cathedral.
"Although the equipment and facilities will be better, the students will be losing the chance to study in such a lovely environment.
"Hopefully by doing this it might encourage better integration between students on different courses and lead to more collaboration and research projects between different departments."
Dr Alec Shepley, head of the Lincoln school of art and design, said: "The staff and the students will have an emotional attachment to the buildings that have been used for many years.
"But the school of art and design is 150 years old next year and the new building is a major move.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to review what we do as a school in the 21st century."