Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2001
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Board: Rework ailing budget
Faculty to design new Campbell Hall spaces
Anthrax is now a weapon

Economics adjusts to a global influx

New center helps international students polish their English skills
Correction -- CVC and TJ Area Chapter of United Way
In Memoriam
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Negotiating, naturally
Hot Links -- CardioVillage Web site
Artisans’s Bazaar Nov. 30-Dec. 2
After Hours -- Cersley nurses a desire to serve public as Miss Virginia
Holiday cards, letters to aid CVC
Jenny Gerow
This new display area, on the upper level of Campbell Hall, provides a surface on which students can show their designs. The space is part of the Architecture School’s renovation and addition plans.

Faculty to design new Campbell Hall space

By Jane Ford

The School of Architecture is turning to its faculty experts to design a project to bring its home into the 21st century.

Campbell Hall, built in 1969, is a modern brick structure set into the north side of Carr’s Hill, hidden from most passersby on Rugby Road by the U.Va. Art Museum and a quad of fraternity houses. It is the home of an architecture department ranked sixth in the nation, a graduate landscape program regarded by many to be tops in the country, and distinguished programs in architectural history and urban and environmental planning.

Even 10 years ago, Campbell Hall barely met the needs of the school’s faculty and students. Today, with changing goals, expanding curriculum and nearly double the number of students and triple the number of faculty, the school has outgrown its old home. These changes, coupled with a leaking brick façade and an outdated mechanical system, create a critical need for expansion and renovation.

“The expertise of our award-winning faculty, recognized nationally and internationally for its design work, will be a powerful tool for creating a strong visual statement of the values of the school,” said Architecture dean Karen Van Lengen, whose own design work focuses on the relationship between design and culture.

Borrowing an idea successfully executed at a number of other schools, including those at the University of Michigan, Columbia University, the University of New Mexico and Parson’s School of Design, the dean floated the idea of faculty-designed projects to see who would be interested.

She announced the designers at the November faculty meeting: architecture professor W.G. Clark; associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs William Sherman; architecture professor Peter Waldman; associate professor Judith Kinnard; and landscape architecture professor Warren Byrd, who will work with each of the designers to integrate landscape and building design.

Van Lengen’s goal is to create a strong interrelationship between the school’s landscape and its architecture, to achieve a look that reflects the tone of the school and its teaching philosophy, which emphasizes architecture as the cultural expression of its own time and place.

“The schematic plan has a dynamic quality,” said Van Lengen. “The strong inter-relationship between landscape and architecture is critical to the School of Architecture’s position at the top of the proposed Carr’s Hill Arts Grounds and echoes Jefferson’s integration of architecture and landscape in the design of the Lawn.”

Waldman perhaps best describes this unusual approach to the 13,000-square-foot project. “It’s not about creating heroic architecture or signature architecture. It’s about fingerprints.”
The faculty designers will collaborate throughout the project with SMBW architects in Richmond, who have already developed a strategic plan for the school and will serve as both the collaborating architect on all the projects and as the project’s architect of record.

Architecture School alumnus Will Scribner, SMBW’s founding partner, emphasized the importance of integrating the building and its landscape during an October presentation of the firm’s schematic design.

Byrd, whose own Nelson-Byrd Landscape Architects firm worked with SMBW on the schematic plan, hopes to create a visual link between the school and Rugby Road through his landscape plan.

“The multi-use outdoor spaces will afford opportunities for gatherings by students, faculty and public and will reconnect the Arts Grounds and the School of Architecture with the rest of the University,” he said.

In addition to making the school visible from Rugby Road and creating a major access to the Arts Grounds, the plan calls for an entry tower to the east that will encompass exhibition space, additional jury rooms, and a new formal entrance to, and renovation of, the main lecture hall.

Clark, who will design the entrance, said he was “honored to have been asked to participate in the project” and applauded Van Lengen’s idea that “our work should extend the ethos of the school and not just be a bought project.”

Sherman, selected to design a new wing that will accommodate 26 faculty offices and two conference rooms, and an expanded shop and renovated jury rooms on the south side of Campbell Hall, views the design process as a learning tool for the students.

“In a way,” he said, “it’s a research project to work with new construction systems and develop a demonstration project of the principles we are working with in the classroom.”

Completion of the design phase for the new entry and the office wing is expected in late spring.
Two other pieces, smaller in scope, are “important to the life of the school,” Van Lengen said.

Kinnard will focus on a redesign of the small, but very popular, student and faculty café located on the ground floor.

“In its new form, it would become a focal point, not just for the Architecture School, but for the entire Arts Precinct,” said Kinnard. “It would act as a magnet to attract people from the various arts disciplines.”

One way to accomplish this, she suggested, would be to have an outdoor seating area and to create an architectural link to the proposed Studio Art Building.

Waldman, who frequently involves his students in class projects that focus on building additions, will plan the renovation and relocation of administrative offices on the west side of the building.

He sees his task as giving the school a window out into the surrounding community. By opening the brick façade that overlooks Culbreth Road and Nameless Field below, the project would not only let in the setting sun, but would provide a human scale, he said. “People will be able to see inside, see our students working at something they love.”

Two faculty-designed projects already completed are the Elmaleh Gallery in the school’s existing foyer, designed by assistant professor Timothy Stenson, and an exhibition ledge to display student work, designed by associate professor Charles Menefee III.

“These projects and this approach to the transformation of Campbell Hall will emphasize the importance of the Architecture School not only to the Arts Grounds, but to the entire University,” Van Lengen said.


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