Arts & Sciences
South Lawn Project
The South Lawn Project extends the architectural vision of Thomas Jefferson by creating a carefully orchestrated ensemble of classrooms, common spaces, and landscape elements south of Jefferson’s historic Lawn. Classrooms fitted to contemporary and future needs and equipped with the latest technology will encourage effective and innovative teaching. The project’s commons café and gathering spaces near classrooms and faculty offices will provide ideal settings for the informal conversations that unite the academic community.
The South Lawn project addresses a pressing need—the College has exhausted available space for offices, research and classrooms. But it is more than simply utilitarian space. These structures provide a place where a community of discovery can thrive. They represent a desperately needed home for new faculty—the dozens of scholars now joining our ranks to help offer a wider range of classes, enhance our overall research capacity and reputation, reduce student-faculty ratio, and decrease class sizes in the face of state-mandated enrollment growth.
New academic buildings housing the History, Politics and Religious Studies departments are located on the south side of Jefferson Park Avenue. A broad, landscaped, stepped terrace (nearly completed) will connect the new buildings with Central Grounds across Jefferson Park Avenue, which will be below the terrace. At the south end of the terrace is a circular plaza that sits atop a Commons building, with an exterior stair leading to the garden areas below. A conservatory containing lounge spaces and a café with three-story glass walls is framed by two west-facing porches that serve as entrances to two perpendicular wings of buildings.
The buildings, Nau Hall and Gibson Hall, are named for John L. Nau III (College ’68), and David E. Gibson (College ’62, Law ’65). Gibson Hall is the home for the Politics and the Religious Studies departments and Nau Hall serves as the History department building for the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
The project is among the first LEED-certified building efforts at U.Va. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system has become the ultimate benchmark for green building in America, providing a “whole building” approach to sustainability.
Just east of Nau Hall on Jefferson Park Avenue, the Foster Historic Site will provide a public garden with interpretive exhibits and signage describing archaeological findings from the site and recognizing the history of free black property owner Catherine Foster, her family, and the Charlottesville community once known as “Canada.”
Arts & Sciences Physical and Life Sciences Research Building
In spring 2009, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences broke ground on the Physical and Life Sciences Research Building. Located on Geldard Drive adjacent to the Chemistry Building and Gilmer Hall, the new facility will offer modern laboratory space for more than two dozen faculty and their research groups, largely in the life sciences. The building will provide a much needed state-of-the-art wet lab and low-vibration space designed for flexible, interdisciplinary use.
The Arts & Sciences Physical and Life Sciences Research Building is a key component of a new science and technology initiative and will serve as an important resource for the University to attract and retain the highest quality faculty and students in the sciences.
This new facility will address existing research space deficiencies in the College, and the flexible and adaptable laboratory facilities in the new building will foster collaborative and interdisciplinary instruction and research. At five stories and roughly 100,000 square feet, it will also contain office space and shared core facilities to support existing and developing initiatives requiring magnetic resonance imaging and electron force microscopy. The building is scheduled for occupancy in fall 2011.