Graduate Center Architecture and Design
Jefferson Fellow Graduate Center Design
Jefferson Fellow Graduate Center Design

The mission of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is to attract graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral candidates to the University of Virginia of extraordinary intellectual range and depth. It supports those who possess significant scholarly potential in areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. The Foundation is building a physical and intellectual center for its Graduate Fellows, to bring them together and form a sense of community around the dynamic range of students and faculty across many disciplines.

The project consists of three main components:

1) Graduate Fellows space, including a multi-purpose reception hall, library reading room, classrooms / seminar rooms, and research and study spaces for the Graduate Fellows;

2) Foundation Administrative Office space; and

3) Courtyard / Garden space, a significant, private, outdoor space to center the project and provide a venue for contemplation, respite and a wide range of functions.

The new Graduate Fellows Center will build directly on the program’s recognized strengths as: An opportunity awarded on the basis of merit with a tradition of open and rewarding faculty-student interaction. A setting that promotes and fosters an intimate intellectual community that is as supportive and nurturing as it is mutually challenging. An experience that stimulates an unusual depth of interdisciplinary achievement and sparks the highest level of contribution to the university community and to the world.

The mission of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is to attract graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral candidates to the University of Virginia of extraordinary intellectual range and depth. It supports those who possess significant scholarly potential in areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. The Foundation is building a physical and intellectual center for its Graduate Fellows, to bring them together and form a sense of community around the dynamic range of students and faculty across many disciplines.

The project consists of three main components:

1) Graduate Fellows space, including a multi-purpose reception hall, library reading room, classrooms / seminar rooms, and research and study spaces for the Graduate Fellows;

2) Foundation Administrative Office space; and

3) Courtyard / Garden space, a significant, private, outdoor space to center the project and provide a venue for contemplation, respite and a wide range of functions.

The new Graduate Fellows Center will build directly on the program’s recognized strengths as: An opportunity awarded on the basis of merit with a tradition of open and rewarding faculty-student interaction. A setting that promotes and fosters an intimate intellectual community that is as supportive and nurturing as it is mutually challenging. An experience that stimulates an unusual depth of interdisciplinary achievement and sparks the highest level of contribution to the university community and to the world.

The new building and grounds for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Graduate Fellows Center will be:

• Magnetic in attracting and bringing the community of Fellows together into a meaningful and memorable place that is also dynamic, vibrant and vital.

• A source of inspiration, place of interaction and locus for exchange of ideas.

• Sensitive to the environment and sustainable in terms of the materials used, building systems employed, and thoughtful use of resources and energy.

• A lighted building, a beacon to the University and directly linked to the community where Fellows can share their learning with a broad audience.

• Openly supportive of conversation, study, and teaching as matters of importance; filled with dedicated individual and group academic spaces.

• Situated so that one can move between inside and outside, between buildings and rooms and courtyards and gardens, in the tradition of the University’s best buildings and landscapes. 

The Graduate Fellows Center will be an academic institute for higher education that has a clear, defining character and a powerful sense of place. It is designed to entice high-caliber graduate students considering the University for their graduate and post-graduate research, as an educational resource that is both a significant destination and a point of departure.

The new building and grounds for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Graduate Fellows Center will be:

• Magnetic in attracting and bringing the community of Fellows together into a meaningful and memorable place that is also dynamic, vibrant and vital.

• A source of inspiration, place of interaction and locus for exchange of ideas.

• Sensitive to the environment and sustainable in terms of the materials used, building systems employed, and thoughtful use of resources and energy.

• A lighted building, a beacon to the University and directly linked to the community where Fellows can share their learning with a broad audience.

• Openly supportive of conversation, study, and teaching as matters of importance; filled with dedicated individual and group academic spaces.

• Situated so that one can move between inside and outside, between buildings and rooms and courtyards and gardens, in the tradition of the University’s best buildings and landscapes. 

The Graduate Fellows Center will be an academic institute for higher education that has a clear, defining character and a powerful sense of place. It is designed to entice high-caliber graduate students considering the University for their graduate and post-graduate research, as an educational resource that is both a significant destination and a point of departure.

Jefferson Fellows Graduate Center Design
Jefferson Fellows Graduate Center Design

"On every level, practical and emotional, the design works: it facilitates conversation; it facilitates serious study; it facilitates relaxation; it facilitates teaching; it is calm; it is safe; it is open; it is elegant; it fits and is fitting; it inspires; it attracts. The building is precisely the beacon we hoped for.   A very, very difficult architectural commission wonderfully imagined and beautifully realized."

– Rick Kellogg Former Chairperson, Jefferson Scholars Foundation
Jefferson Fellows Graduate Center Design
Jefferson Fellows Graduate Center Design

Client: Jefferson Scholars Foundation

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Discipline: Student Life, Academics, Interior Design, Sustainable Design

Completion: 2010

Size: 28,265 SF