New additions will address space needs and highlight faculty design excellence
By Jane Ford and Derry Wade
Photos by Dan Addison
| Karen Van Lengen (left) speaks at the A-School groundbreaking. BOV member Georgia Willis (above right) and other attendees sign the banner depicting the East Addition.
The terrace outside Campbell Hall was crowded on Sept. 29. Faculty, students, staff and guests mingled with Architecture School advisory board and University Board of Visitors members. All were gathered for a groundbreaking for several additions to Campbell Hall, led by President John T. Casteen III and Architecture School Dean Karen Van Lengen.
Casteen announced the naming of one of the projects: the Victor and Sono Elmaleh East Addition, which the board formally conferred at a private Carr’s Hill luncheon preceding the event. A huge banner also sat in front of the podium where Casteen and Van Lengen spoke. It depicted a digital replica of a façade of the planned East Addition.
Casteen praised the Elmalehs, along with the 346 other donors who gave more than $9 million for the project. More than half the gifts represent the largest gifts made to the school. “A lot of us, for a lot of different reasons wanted to make this happen,” he said.
The Architecture School’s ambitious expansion includes three projects that will provide faculty and students with a classroom for design that incorporates sustainable design principles and integrates the aesthetics of architecture with the ethics of building in a modern world.
The school looked to its own faculty to translate its needs, ethics and aesthetics into designs that will meet the requirements of a faculty and student body that has outgrown Campbell Hall. The projects also will support the teaching mission of the school — providing students with lessons about place, design, local materials, building traditions and technology in design.
Integrating their designs thoughtfully into the environment, the designers created architecture that reflects their time in history as much as Jefferson’s architecture reflected the ideals of his time, said Van Lengen.
“We are designers. We care about our environment, and it is up to us to make it what we want it to be,” Van Lengen said. “The project is filled with the soul of the school and reflects the excellence of the School of Architecture in the nation.”
William H. Sherman, Mario di Valmarana Associate Professor of Architecture, designed the school’s south addition; W.G. Clark, Edmund Shurman Campbell Professor of Architecture, designed the east addition; and Warren T. Byrd Jr., U.Va. alumnus and nationally recognized leader in landscape design who until May was on the faculty for 25 years, developed the landscape scheme.
The master plan, based on initial studies by Bushman Dreyfus Architects of Charlottesville and a summer studio directed by Professor Peter Waldman, has been developed further by SMBW Architects of Richmond, Va., led by Architecture School alumnus Will Scribner.
The projects encompass approximately 13,000 square feet of interior space as well as exterior spaces designed to extend the working areas of the school into the site.
The new projects respond to the many changes in the school’s life since the construction of Campbell Hall in 1970. The student body has almost doubled in the last two decades and the faculty has nearly tripled in number. Changes to curricular structure and goals, which reflect the evolution of the values held by the members of the school community and the emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to history, design, landscape and planning, also now necessitate additional space for varied uses. The introduction of graduate programs in architecture and landscape architecture has additionally expanded demand for design space. Similar growth in the planning and architectural history programs now necessitates additional classroom and seminar space.
THE EAST ADDITION
The tall, thin mini-tower that is the Victor and Sono Elmaleh East Addition will serve as a new face of the school, providing a presence toward Rugby Road. The multi-use space will combine reception space and areas for students to pin up projects for class reviews and exhibitions. Some pin-up walls are designed to serve a dual purpose: they can be folded down to form tables for seminars and other gatherings. Other walls will pivot, enabling greater area available for the show of student work. The south wall of the addition faces the Arts Grounds and its façade of concrete, glass and metal will afford sweeping views in every direction.
THE SOUTH ADDITION
The south addition addresses the enormous need for faculty office space. The plan integrates emerging technologies in sustainable design into the structure itself. Porches will play a large role in the climate control. In the summer they will act as chimneys, providing cooling as the air moves. In the winter they will act as solaria, capturing light and warmth. Glass louvers will filter sunlight into the offices and porches, with a potential for future energy production. The south wall will serve as an ongoing lab for developing technologies that faculty and students will test as they emerge. These demonstration spaces for new energy-generating technologies will be the first of their kind at a top design program in the nation.
The design also integrates administrative offices and conference space that will overlook the heart of the school and the Arts Grounds.
A technology bridge that links faculty offices and design studios on the fourth floor will serve as a meeting place for faculty and students. On the second floor, conference and review rooms open up to outdoor classrooms and a teaching landscape. The third and fourth floors will contain a faculty research studio and a review room, which will open to expansive views to the West.
THE LANDSCAPE DESIGN
The landscape scheme ties the projects together and encompasses three distinct, interrelated precincts with emphasis on expressing local hydrology, geology and ecology, the precincts address a variety of landscape challenges.
A passage between the U.Va. Art Museum and a fraternity introduces new walls, steps and an alignment with the east tower addition that link the school to Rugby Road.
A traverse highlights pedestrian access to the east tower and will feature access to the third and fourth floors of Campbell Hall.
Terraces will create linear outdoor rooms that provide seating, shade and space to exhibit student constructions.
An allee of native trees will spatially connect the Art Museum with Campbell Hall and the south addition.
The plan for the south slope includes work terraces, demonstration gardens and outdoor classrooms. Narrow water rills, drains and weirs will address storm water runoff in the area.
For more information, visit http://www.arch.virginia.edu/theschool/addition.