Converted from a hospital to a student residence hall, VCU's Honors College lacked purposefully designed outdoor spaces for students to gather and spend time outdoors. The feasibility study conducted by VMDO proposed an approach to transform these existing exterior spaces into humanely scaled and supportive places where students could congregate, study, perform, and connect in the environment of Richmond.

A comprehensive approach to shaping space is employed across the three terraces. Topographic form is integrated with new exterior architectural elements and new planting to create a distinct identity for the Honors College. This approach draws from a variety of contextual conditions that include the unique triangular geometry created by the building footprint, a distinct and growing commitment to sustainable design and operations practices by the university, and a contemporary response to incorporating qualities of the surrounding neighborhoods and Monroe Park.

The design intent works to create a distinctive and recognizable urban environment for VCU and its community. The study promotes a structured framework that provides opportunities for flexible and dynamic programming, informal and formal gathering, and art display and performance, as well as improvements to the overall environment of Richmond.

Converted from a hospital to a student residence hall, VCU's Honors College lacked purposefully designed outdoor spaces for students to gather and spend time outdoors. The feasibility study conducted by VMDO proposed an approach to transform these existing exterior spaces into humanely scaled and supportive places where students could congregate, study, perform, and connect in the environment of Richmond.

A comprehensive approach to shaping space is employed across the three terraces. Topographic form is integrated with new exterior architectural elements and new planting to create a distinct identity for the Honors College. This approach draws from a variety of contextual conditions that include the unique triangular geometry created by the building footprint, a distinct and growing commitment to sustainable design and operations practices by the university, and a contemporary response to incorporating qualities of the surrounding neighborhoods and Monroe Park.

The design intent works to create a distinctive and recognizable urban environment for VCU and its community. The study promotes a structured framework that provides opportunities for flexible and dynamic programming, informal and formal gathering, and art display and performance, as well as improvements to the overall environment of Richmond.

The design intent works to create a distinctive and recognizable urban environment for VCU and its community.

Client: Virginia Commonwealth University

Location: Richmond, VA

Discipline: Campus Planning

Completion: 2012

Size: 10,000 SF