York Couple Funds Expansion Of U.Va. Architecture School
October 3, 2003 --
Victor and Sono Elmaleh of New York will contribute $1.2
million to the University of Virginia for a major addition to the
of Architecture. A 1942 graduate and longtime benefactor of the
school, Victor Elmaleh is chairman of the board of World-Wide Holdings
Friday at a meeting of the University’s Board
of Visitors, the gift will qualify for a $1 million match from
Arts Grounds Challenge Fund,
which was established in 2002 by an anonymous donor. The fund was created to
encourage others to support the Arts Grounds project, a complex of new, renovated
and expanded facilities for the arts at U.Va.
Elmalehs’ gift completes
funding for a new entry tower at the eastern end of Campbell Hall, home of
the architecture school. In recognition of the
couple’s generosity, the new facility will be named in honor of Victor
and Sono Elmaleh.
by U.Va. faculty member and alumnus W. G. Clark in coordination
with SMBW Architects of Richmond, the largely glass-walled
tower will provide
new entrance and reception area for the School of Architecture. It will
flexible gallery and jury space for exhibiting work by students, faculty,
and visiting artists and designers.
elegantly designed east tower will give the School of Architecture
urgently needed jury and classroom spaces and will provide a prominent new
commensurate with the school’s national stature,” said Karen
Van Lengen, dean of the School of Architecture. “This gift from
Victor and Sono Elmaleh is truly transformational, and our school-wide
grateful for their longstanding support and generosity.”
addition to the gift for the school’s expansion, Mr. and
Mrs. Elmaleh have given the school a series of sculptures by
celebrated artist and
designer Harry Bertoia. The pieces contributed to the University were
exhibited in the
Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., a building designed
by Cesar Pelli.
Elmaleh has been a partner in major New York real estate developments,
including the Worldwide Plaza, which
occupies the site of the original
Madison Square Garden. Construction of the project was the subject
of an acclaimed
PBS series titled “Skyscraper.” Sono Elmaleh is a former
ballerina who has danced with the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo and
the American Ballet Theater,
and later on Broadway.
accomplished artist, Victor Elmaleh has exhibited his abstract
watercolors and collages at the Staempfli
Gallery in New York City,
Gallery in East Hampton, and the University of Virginia Art Museum.
In May 2002,
an exhibition of his work inaugurated the Victor and Sono Elmaleh
Gallery at the
Architecture, which was named in honor of a generous gift from
Elmalehs have benefited the University in many other ways over
the years. To commemorate the 250th birthday
of U.Va.’s founder, Thomas Jefferson,
Victor Elmaleh commissioned an hour-long documentary titled “Mr.
Jefferson and His University.” The program was screened at
alumni celebrations throughout the country in 1993.
are grateful for this opportunity to celebrate Victor and Sono
Elmaleh and their many years of support for the school and for
the University,” said
University President John T. Casteen III. “This new facility,
with its multi-purpose exhibition areas, will be a center of
creative interchange. It
will provide our students and faculty with a forum for presenting
and examining new directions in design.”
entry tower made possible by the Elmalehs’ gift is part
of a larger plan to expand and renovate Campbell Hall. Other
the plan include a new wing of faculty offices along the
south side of the building, a new administrative
suite, a renovated café, and improved teaching and
shop spaces. Among new landscape features will be a roof
on the west wing of the building
and a pedestrian promenade leading to the new east entry.
School of Architecture is seeking $8.5 million in donor support
for its expansion and renovation projects. With the
Elmalehs’ gift, the school has some $2
million more to raise toward this goal.
exhibition on the school’s additions and improvements, all designed
by members of the faculty, will be on view in the Victor
and Sono Elmaleh Gallery through Oct. 17.
Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298