This Earth Day, we are trying something new at VMDO. Full, public transparency on everything we know about how our work is performing or how we anticipate it performing.
As stalwart public institutions primed for reinvention, libraries can play a crucial role in the building and re-building of communities. By expanding the notion of what a library can be, we can design buildings and spaces that help shape the ways we come together.
Our recent work with the Shenandoah County Library showed the power of investing time and resources in shaping a meaningful community engagement process. With a clear directive and shared commitment from our client, we allocated two months at the outset of the project to intensive engagement work.
Sometimes a sequel can live up to, and even surpass, the success of an original. Ethos v.2.0 aims to define with more specificity threads of design quality that, through our work, reflect VMDO's values.
VMDO's young leaders reflect on 2020 and how they've grown as professionals while navigating this year's unique learning curve. Hayley Owens shares: "The challenges of this year have revealed to me more clearly the values of this place and its people. There is a fundamental feeling of care for each other."
How do you create a thriving downtown that will be best suited for people today and in the future? This prompt informed a year-long investigation by AIA Virginia's 2020 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) to study, assess, and propose resilient design measures for the city of Portsmouth, Virginia.
Kindness Café provides meaningful employment to people with cognitive disabilities in Charlottesville. Working in collaboration with the Building Goodness Foundation and local craftspeople, VMDO Design Corps converted the lobby of the Brooks Family YMCA (also designed by VMDO) into a community coffee.
College and university libraries are devising strategies to re-open this fall. In this episode of Advancing America's Libraries Podcast, VMDO's Jim Kovach and Julie Kane, Associate Professor and Head of Collection Services at Washington & Lee University, discuss how university libraries are preparing for fall re-entry.
In this "Checking in" episode, VMDO's Higher Education studio leader, Joe Atkins, is joined by an esteemed panel of higher education campus leaders. Together, they discuss the importance of building community and creating accessible and equitable learning experiences as higher education campuses re-open in the fall.
Grappling with COVID-19 has inspired us to reach out to our collaborators to shed light on this moment. We check in with Keith Reeves, Senior Instructional Technology Coordinator at Discovery Elementary School, who shares insightful, passionate feedback on the state of online learning and the future of K12 schools.
As restrictions on social distancing begin to lift, we check in with Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, a physician, public health researcher, and associate professor at UVA's School of Medicine. Dr. Trowbridge outlines the importance of transparent systems and policies as people start to re-enter the public realm.
Net Zero Energy (NZE) schools are high-performance learning environments that produce as much renewable energy as they use. Interested in transitioning your child’s school system to NZE, but don’t know where to start? Here are five steps you can take as a parent.
“What does it mean and take to thrive during this crisis?” This is a key question for cultural sociologist Dr. Josh Yates, the CEO and Founder of Thriving Cities Group. Dr. Yates, a nationally recognized researcher and urbanist, checks in with VMDO to offer insight on ways to design and build for a thriving future while recognizing the fault lines of social inequity exacerbated by the pandemic.
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.
The building sector alone makes up more than 60% of global CO2 emissions. Being the biggest industry offender in carbon emissions means it is up to us to change the dial from negative, to carbon positive. This report from CarbonPositive'20 shares strategies for how firms are tackling this challenge.
Sustainable Business Magazine features VMDO's Greer Environmental Science Center and takes a closer look at this sustainable facility and environmental science education in their latest issue.
To test VR as a tool for design collaboration, VMDO hosted a day-long workshop using human-centered design approaches focused on the new University of Virginia Student Health and Wellness Center.
K12 Studio Leader Rob Winstead shares VMDO's position that effective and safe learning environments require thoughtful, custom, and integrated design solutions – not stock prototype school designs – for the future of K12 education.
Three leaders from VMDO – Rob Winstead, Kelly Callahan, and Shawn Mulligan – were selected to take on new leadership roles in 2020 for the AIA Central Virginia chapter to support the local architecture community and advocate for the profession.
Shawn Mulligan shares his reasons for joining VMDO and a call to action: “Together, we can put our shoulders to the wheel of history give it a shove.”
Frances Lengowski relates what receiving ACUHO-I’s esteemed award for contributions to the field of residence life means to her and VMDO.
Ethos is a new annual internal publication created and published by VMDO staff that represents the characteristic spirit of VMDO’s design culture and forms a profile of how we work, what we value, and who we are within each given year.
Victory Hall Opera and Yimeng Teng are working to re-envision what a set can be in terms of affordability, mobility, and creativity – to empower the next generation of performing arts companies, theater venues, and schools across the nation.
An increasing number of economic, scientific, and sociological research supports what we’ve believed for decades – that early childhood development, including well designed facilities, classrooms, and learning environments are crucial investments that can pay big dividends beyond just the school system.
K12 Studio Leader Rob Winstead shares evidence-based research and design strategies that are informing current policies on school security – building on recent testimony he delivered to the Virginia House Select Committee on School Safety.
What role does architecture, and do architects, play in shaping our future climate? The new IPCC special report, Global Warming of 1.5d, provides a clear picture of the rapid rate at which our global climate is changing and the ecological, human, and societal costs of these coming changes.
Maria Bninski, AIA is the inaugural recipient of VMDO’s Travel Fellowship. Her fellowship provides an account of her findings and research exploring the evolution of ceiling architecture in London from the 1500s to present day.
In part because of the measurable impact of Discovery Elementary School on Arlington County's carbon, energy, and education goals, the zero energy Discovery Elementary School has inspired change at county, state, and national levels.
65% of buildings registered and/or certified by the International Living Future Institute are for higher education institutions. What draws higher education clients to the Living Building Challenge?
VMDO employees Noah Bolton and Tyler Jenkins participated in the 2018 AIA Virginia Emerging Leaders in Architecture program. Their culminating design project investigated ways to strengthen the physical and social identity of Charlottesville's 10th and Page neighborhood.
Working with Old Dominion University, we've had the opportunity to co-create a spatial typology that expresses the essence of the library at public research universities.
Robust local partnerships supported solutions for a sustainable, place-based design that integrates interior and exterior public and programmed spaces.
VMDO's Jim Kovach participated in a forum on the future of libraries at Library Journal's 2019 Design Institute in Austin, TX. Working with the Riverdale Branch Library in Lee County, FL, Jim led a design exercise with Librarian Jill Horrom that resulted in various solutions to improve the library's design and layout.
As evidenced by the University of Mary Washington's expansion of Simpson Library, academic libraries are applying an innovative approach to knowledge creation, curation, and sharing that places the user front and center.
VMDO'S Jim Kovach is working with his hometown community in Rockland County, NY to craft a shared vision for what a modern library experience can be for a diverse and expanding user group. The improvements to New City Library aspire to transform this community asset into an inspired home for the old and young alike.
Washington & Lee is home to a robust archive of historical artifacts and one of the strongest Special Collections departments in the region. Building on a campus-wide master plan, VMDO proposed showcasing the University’s prolific collection of historical acquisitions in a space commensurate with its holdings.
Today’s college classroom is changing. Technology is forcing administrators to either adapt obsolete facilities to the demands of the digital age or to build new classrooms that incorporate today's digital infrastructure. Jim Kovach offers thoughts on this dilemma based on student feedback.
The human body is designed for movement. The connections between activity and brain development are well-documented by experts like Dr. Dieter Breithecker, yet this research is often overlooked in traditional furniture design. Learning spaces with a variety of seating options allow children to move while they learn!
VMDO's Jim Kovach participated in a forum on the future of libraries at Library Journal's 2016 Design Institute in Charleston. Collaborating with librarians from the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina, Jim and team proposed improvements based on how the library is being used by today’s students.
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