Enhancing Design Through Environmental Graphics02.06.23
In this roundtable discussion, VMDO Marketing Specialist, Athena Hanny, sits down with some of the big thinkers behind Environmental Graphic Design: VMDO Principal, Rob Winstead, and Iconograph's founder, Brittney Butler, and Project Manager, Rush Otis. Together, they discuss over 15 years of collaboration that underscores the importance of EGD, and how the service can provide highly affordable options that bring long-term value to educational communities.
In Conversation: The Virginia Film Festival Roundtable12.19.22
Earlier this month, VMDO Marketing Specialist, Michael R. Deitz, sat down with two key organizers of the 35th Virginia Film Festival, for which VMDO acted as a local Charlottesville sponsor. Assistant Director of UVA Arts Development, Lizzy Ramey, and VAFF Senior Programmer, Ilya Tovbis, spoke about their roles in festival curation, the relationship between the cinema and community, and the socio-cultural importance of local arts venues like ones Charlottesville has to offer. Check out the video of the roundtable conversation and for some upcoming 2023 film recommendations for the new year.
Recapping the 2022 Virginia Film Festival: The Cinema and its Community11.08.22
Last week, the 35th annual Virginia Film Festival (VAFF) took over Charlottesville for five days of special events and screenings across the city’s collection of local theaters, with VMDO contributing as a local sponsor for the arts. A program of the University of Virginia, the VAFF brings together artists and cinephiles from across the globe to partake in an impressive lineup of festival darlings and groundbreaking indies in the early heat of the 2022-23 awards season. Marketing's Michael Deitz muses on the integrated relationship between cinema and community, and the ongoing importance of supporting "our most empathetic art form."
VMDO Traveling Fellowship: A Survey of Finnish Libraries10.18.22
Since VMDO Architects was founded, we have built ourselves upon a bedrock of teaching and cultivating growth for employees throughout the firm with the belief that this approach strengthens our collective knowledge. This led us, inevitably, to create our Travel Fellowship Program. Open to all staff after about two years with the firm, VMDOers can apply to travel nationally or abroad to study architecture, design, building techniques, and the cultures that create and influence them all over the world. In 2019, one of our designers, John Trevor, was awarded the Travel Fellowship to study libraries and the elevated places they hold in Finnish culture.
Visualization at VMDO10.07.22
Thomas Bates is VMDO’s Director of Visualization. When asked to define his job, Thomas shared, “I make pictures of unbuilt buildings.” He has solidified his role as Director of Visualization and has been creating beautiful work at VMDO for over 10 years.
Role of the Urban Park07.06.22
William and Mary Housing and Dining Master Plan Study05.03.22
The College of William and Mary will renovate or replace 80% of their existing residential and dining facilities and this project is set to finish in 2032. The university engaged VMDO and Brailsford & Dunlavey to develop a comprehensive Housing and Dining Master Plan together. The plan answers many of the questions and primary concerns of the university and resolves these questions with a clear road map for renovation and replacement projects that are timed and calibrated to achieve the university’s goals.
DesignWell Features K12 Studio Leader Rob Winstead01.06.22
A feature article on Rob Winstead's commitment to addressing the interconnectedness of community and sustainability.
Discovery Elementary Is Officially America's Happiest Building!12.17.21
Arlington's Discovery Elementary School has received the top Livable Buildings Award from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE), making it the happiest school in America! Now in its fifteenth year, the Livable Buildings Awards recognize projects that demonstrate high occupant satisfaction, excellent design, and innovative operation strategies.
VMDO DC Office Growth Featured in DesignWell11.03.21
Following the addition of two new senior hires to join our Washington D.C. team, DesignWell Magazine has featured the studio’s growth and our firm’s commitment to support the Clean Energy D.C. program.
New UVA Data Science Center Breaks Ground10.26.21
The new Data Science Center at the University of Virginia has broken ground for construction this month, with plans for the building to be opened on the campus in the Spring of 2024.
Metropolis Magazine Features Lubber Run Community Center08.16.21
Arlington County's Lubber Run Community Center is featured in the July/August 2021 issue of Metropolis Magazine.
School’s Out for Summer06.16.21
Here at VMDO, the work of our K-12 Studio precisely follows the academic calendar. At our Addition and Renovation project at Albemarle County’s Crozet Elementary School — and with the echoes of the very last dismissal bell of the year still ringing in everyone’s ears
2021 VMDO Leadership Advancements02.19.21
VMDO has announced 2021 leadership promotions, honoring staff contributions which have elevated the firm's professional practice while advancing thought leadership in design, sustainability, client service, and project management.
Community Input Inspires Design of Lubber Run Community Center12.08.20
For each project, VMDO looks beyond textbook design principles and staff expertise, proactively seeking input and engagement from community stakeholders. Think Wood profiles how hard-earned community feedback inpired the design of Lubber Run Community Center
A Trio of State Awards for the Greer Environmental Sciences Center10.22.20
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center at Virginia Wesleyan University has received a trio of notable state awards from AIA Virginia, ASLA Virginia, and ASID Virginia/IIDA Virginia-West Virginia. All three juries highlighted the project's commitment to sustainability in promoting stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay. The building supports the university’s liberal arts mission to engage a diversity of students in applied learning experiences. The building and landscape were designed to embody this mission and facilitate the lessons taught within.
Crozet Elementary School Receives the 2020 AIA Test of Time Award09.21.20
VMDO's Crozet Elementary School is the recipient of the 2020 Test of Time Award from AIA Virginia – an honor that recognizes this humble and transformational public elementary school for its “architectural design of enduring significance” thirty years after its completion.
"Design Should Educate and Uplift": Rob Winstead in ArchDaily on Social Justice and Building Sustainable Futures07.09.20
Shaping the future begins with education. For VMDO Principal Rob Winstead, learning spaces go hand in hand with sustainability. As a nationally-recognized expert in education, Winstead is an advocate for blending thoughtful design with high performance goals. In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, Winstead talks about his personal background and experiences, as well as his role in shaping how VMDO approaches sustainability, education and social justice.
Students Lead Design-Build Efforts at Virginia Tech CID LLC07.01.20
Students are playing a hands-on role in the development of several key areas in Virginia Tech's new Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Community (CID LLC). With VMDO and other university partners, students are helping design the very spaces where they’ll learn, live, and connect as part of the CID LLC.
Strategies for Reducing Risk of COVID-19 in Schools06.17.20
School districts across the country are facing the difficult task of determining if and when K-12 schools will reopen. In an effort to support the health, safety, and well-being of students, the AIA has released 3D models designed by VMDO as well as evidence-based strategies that can assist schools with re-opening.
Discovery Elementary School Named A World Changing Idea by Fast Company04.28.20
A teaching tool for the climate action generation, Discovery Elementary School was selected from more than 3,000 entries as an honorable mention in both the Education and Spaces, Places, and Cities categories in Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas program.
Turning Inspiration into Action: Honoring the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day04.22.20
With the stress and uncertainty of this unprecedented moment, who wants to talk about the urgency of climate change? Yet it is precisely now that Earth Day matters most. Today, for the first time in recent memory, there is global awareness that individual health is almost completely reliant on the health of others. This now visceral understanding of our interconnectedness may be the key to finally changing how we live in order to protect not just our health but that of future generations.
2020 VMDO Leadership Advancements04.17.20
VMDO has announced 2020 leadership promotions, honoring staff contributions which have elevated the firm's professional practice while advancing thought leadership in design, sustainability, client service, and project management.
Palmer Park Opens for UVA Softball04.06.20
The University of Virginia's new softball stadium, Palmer Park, opened with enthusiasm in anticipation of a new era for Virginia Softball. “It's transformational for our softball program,” shared Carla Williams, UVA's Director of Athletics. Even though COVID-19 put the 2020 season in the record books, we are excited to support the team again at the park in 2021.
The Case for Public Space04.03.20
Logic would follow that public architecture is at its best when the public can inhabit and commune in its spaces, and not during a pandemic. Yet, it is precisely during these moments when we realize the essential need for accessible spaces that nourish our physical and mental health. As our daily footprint narrows under “stay at home” measures, we can take our appreciation for public spaces and design better sites and structures that provide essential components for community health at a time when we need it the most.
Bluestone Elementary School Named “Most Livable Building” in the U.S.11.18.19
Harrisonburg City Public Schools’ Bluestone Elementary School has received the top Livable Buildings Award from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE), making it the happiest school in America! Now in its thirteenth year, the Livable Buildings Awards recognize projects that demonstrate high occupant satisfaction, excellent design, and innovative operation strategies.
Honoring Bob Moje, FAIA: AIA Virginia Noland Medal Recipient11.15.19
VMDO Founding Partner Bob Moje, FAIA is the recipient of the 2019 Noland Medal – the highest award bestowed by AIA Virginia to an architect.
Stand with Students: Take Action to Support the Youth Climate Strike on September 2009.09.19
On September 20, young people around the world will strike to demand immediate and transformative climate action. For the first time, they are asking for adults to join them. VMDO is answering that call for solidarity by participating in the Youth Climate Strike and we encourage our fellow design professionals, community members, and families to do the same.
Expanding Our Practice: VMDO Opens DC Metro Office08.28.19
VMDO’s expansion into the DC Metro region allows us to better support our clients, lead the net-zero energy revolution, and make a difference through design.
VMDO Becomes 1st JUST Certified Firm in Virginia08.23.19
The JUST Label offers a framework for building firm-wide accountability and engaging staff in an ongoing dialogue about what it means to be a socially just and equitable organization. VMDO is the first architecture firm in Virginia and the third firm in the Mid-Atlantic to achieve the label.
Sharing Architecture: VMDO Founder Robert Vickery (1932–2019)08.16.19
VMDO founder Robert Vickery passed away on August 10, 2019, surrounded by friends and family. Beloved for his contributions to architecture and teaching, Bob was a prolific writer, mentor to hundreds of architecture students, and consummate practitioner who started VMDO Architects in 1976 alongside three students – Robert Moje, Lawson Drinkard, and David Oakland.
Discovery Elementary School Becomes First School and Third Project to Receive LEED Zero Energy Certification07.18.19
Discovery Elementary School is the first school and third project ever to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Zero Energy certification. Discovery is also the first recipient of the USGBC National Capital Region’s (NCR) Net Zero Award and is the only building in the NCR to date to demonstrate a net-positive energy balance
Designing for Student Health and Wellness04.25.19
Wellness is not the absence of sickness: it is physical, social, emotional, financial, occupational, intellectual, environmental, and spiritual health. As part of the paradigm shift toward a whole-student model of healthcare, institutions of higher education are exploring how their buildings can best support student + staff wellness.
Living and Learning Beyond Boundaries at Virginia Tech03.18.19
What exactly does it mean to live and learn “beyond boundaries”? The Creativity + Innovation District (CID) living-learning community brings together the arts, engineering, science, and design fields to localize innovation within a residential setting that contributes to Virginia Tech's broader global learning community.
Clark Elementary Renovations: Rethinking What a Classroom Should Be02.13.19
This is the story of the Clark Elementary renovations – the first in a series of Charlottesville elementary modernizations transforming classrooms throughout the city.
University of Miami Centennial Village: VMDO Wins Design Competition with Bold Vision for First Year Residential Community01.08.19
The design for a new lakefront residential village is set to transform University of Miami's first year student housing into a modern and eclectic mix of sustainable buildings that will replace the Stanford and Hecht residential colleges.
Reflecting on Our Approach to Architecture12.21.18
As we near the end of the year, we reflect on what we've learned, where we've gone, and what we've accomplished – all while recommitting to core principles that are woven throughout our approach to design.
Two VMDO Projects Honored with 2018 AIA Virginia Architecture Awards11.08.18
AIA Virginia honors Charlottesville's Brooks Family YMCA and Liberty's Concert Hall and School of Music with awards for architecture and interior design, as part of a distinguished pool of 13 merit award recipients.
2018 Promotions and Firm-Wide Accolades05.24.18
Our work comes from many voices. As a firm, we strive to recognize those who help us elevate the quality of our work and evolve our thinking.
Discovery Elementary School Certified as Largest Zero Energy Building to Date05.02.18
Arlington Public Schools' Discovery Elementary School is the largest building of any kind, anywhere in the world to receive Zero Energy certification from the International Living Future Institute.
Two VMDO Projects Honored with 2018 SCUP/AIA-CAE Awards04.27.18
The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) and AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA CAE) have honored projects at Virginia Wesleyan University and Georgia Tech with 2018 Merit awards.
Clemson’s Honors College: Engaging Students at the Core of Campus02.05.18
Core Campus’ living-learning program has transformed the collegiate experience for Clemson’s highly-ranked Calhoun Honors College. Student surveys report an enhanced sense of belonging and academic engagement through formal and informal interactions with other students and Honors College staff and faculty.
Greer Environmental Sciences Center: An Immersive Science Experience at the Crossroads of Research and Stewardship01.23.18
By facilitating an immersive learning experience, the LEED Gold Greer Center extends beyond its size to encourage a culture of collaboration and connect Virginia Wesleyan University to the ongoing study and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay region.
This Is Charlottesville Collaboration with Sarah Cramer Shields11.18.17
Sarah Cramer Shield's This Is Charlottesville project documents responses from professionals and community members about their connection to Charlottesville and what makes this a place of resilience, reinvention, and rediscovery.
Design-Thinking with Students as Experts11.16.17
The Discovery Elementary School Seat Design Challenge invited 83 fifth graders to re-imagine the design of furniture to create a novel space in their school. Featuring a host of experts working alongside students and teachers, the maker curriculum covered a 6-month period—from an initial discovery and research phase to a high-intensity 2-week prototyping workshop.
VMDO Principals Reflect on Firm Innovation09.08.17
In an interview with Abode Magazine, VMDO principals Joe Atkins, Joe Celentano, and Wyck Knox discuss VMDO's “three studios, one firm” structure and share what’s currently on the boards.
VMDO Doubles Down on Sustainability09.07.17
VMDO has made a significant commitment to sustainability with the hire of two nationally-recognized experts, Director of Sustainability Michelle Amt, AIA, LEED AP and K12 Studio Leader Rob Winstead AIA, LEED AP BD+C.
Brooks Family YMCA Expresses Mission of Openness08.24.17
Turning the concept of openness into physical reality was a creative delight for the VMDO team who designed Charlottesville's Brooks Family YMCA.
Inaugural VMDO Travel Scholarship Recipient “Takes the Ceiling”06.29.17
Maria Bninski, AIA is the recipient of VMDO’s inaugural traveling scholarship – an annual award that gives promising young designers the opportunity to pursue unique investigations into architectural topics that are of particular interest to them.