Virginia Commonwealth University, 500 Academic Centre

Richmond, Virginia

  • FIRM



    Virginia Commonwealth University

  • AREA

    33,400 sq.ft.





The design team worked with Virginia Commonwealth University facilities management to renovate a single-story grocery store to serve as a temporary general classroom facility for undergraduate education.

The facility features six classrooms with seating for 434 students, a commons area, faculty work room and library stack ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$66.48FEATURED IN2011 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation for 120,000 volumes. In a fast-tracked design process, with only six months for design and construction, the team provided architectural, engineering and interior design services.

The main corridor was defined with sunlight, articulating planes and 14-foot ceilings. Bright colors and standard building materials were the backdrop to bold, exaggerated signage and nooks for study and conversation. The floor was left as original concrete—scored, stained and sealed—with the original character still visible and prominent.

A challenge to the project was a campus master plan that called for demolishing and constructing a new multi-story classroom and academic office building within 8 to 10 years. The design team was required to transform the building into a first-class space while limiting the expenditure of capital funds.