Notable Project Timeline
Observatory Hill Dining Hall
Historic Preservation FrameWork Plan This plan evaluated over 140 buildings and landscapes, setting the framework for the continued preservation and study of the University’s post-Jefferson built history.
Claude Moore Nursing Education Building
Claude Moore Medical Education Building
Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center
2011 and beyond
Rugby Administrative Building
Wilsdorf Hall - Infill development and connectivity
The 1990 Facilities Master Plan identified the West Precinct of the University as a key area for future academic and research expansion, as well as a prime location for a perceived “physical consolidation of the University.”
Given the dynamic and evolving research needs that exist in the fields of engineering and the sciences, the area south of McCormick Road seemed to offer limited expansion opportunity. A unique solution was necessary to provide the functionality desired by the department, while respecting allowable density and site constraints to produce a facility that meshed seamlessly with the existing conditions on Grounds.
Construction of Wilsdorf Hall was completed in 2006 after several plan submissions and considerable time spent garnering support from the University and other private foundations. The finished structure stands five stories tall and is approximately 100,000 gross square feet, linking the University’s existing materials science and chemical engineering buildings. The footprint houses multiple research laboratories, faculty offices, conference rooms, computational facilities, and work-study areas, all components the existing School of Engineering and Applied Science lacked prior to the new construction. Additionally, Wilsdorf is home to the University’s newly formed nanotechnology research laboratory, which was subsidized by the Virginia Partnership for Nanotechnology Education and Workforce Development alongside the National Science Foundation (NSF). The state-of-the-art nanotechnology laboratories were designed to inhibit vibration and sound interference, and to accommodate future generations of nanoscale materials, enabling research to move far beyond what was currently possible on Grounds. Because of the unique needs of this science, much of the lab space associated with nanotechnology exists below grade in a basement and sub-basement, resulting in a smaller building footprint than originally anticipated.
A $600,000 grant from the NSF helped solidify the success of this project; while the original structure was projected to cost roughly 10 million dollars, finished construction reached nearly $43million. This combination of University funding and outside support during the design development and construction phases represents the integrated nature of the facility itself, and the potential for Wilsdorf to garner national acclaim for its innovative siting and design strategies.
Functioning as a true infill project, Wilsdorf uses limited space to connect the multiple functions of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, specifically the chemistry and materials science programs. A mixed-use component is also present, as Wilsdorf boasts social and recreational space alongside its functionality as an academic research center. The limited footprint also respects the importance placed on green space throughout Grounds and provides direct pedestrian linkages to adjacent structures and proximity to public transit options. The result is more effective than locating the facility on a greenfield site less accessible to students and faculty. Wilsdorf Hall successfully pairs efficient use of constrained space and existing infrastructure with functionality of academic space and connectivity among the sciences and throughout the University.