Virginia Tech, Ambler Johnston Residence Hall Comprehensive Renovation

Blacksburg, Virginia

  • FIRM

    Clark Nexsen, PC


    Virginia Tech

  • AREA

    272,019 sq.ft.





The comprehensive renovation of Ambler Johnston Residence Hall introduces the concept of a "residential college" to Virginia Tech with a focus on creating and fostering community within the residence hall. The design challenge was to transform the massive, 1960s-era building into an exciting, vital place to live and learn that would attract students throughout ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$201.62CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2013 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYResidence Halls/Lounges college careers, as well as live-in faculty to enhance the residence hall’s role within the academic community.  

At 272,019 square feet, Ambler Johnston is the largest residence hall on campus, housing nearly 1,200 students. Along with replacement of all building engineering systems, the renovation updated the traditional dorm-style bedrooms, and added new, suite-style bedrooms with private bathrooms, and residential apartments for faculty and graduate staff. 

New amenities, including teaching labs, a media theater, game room, group kitchen, library, Honors Common and a fitness center provide inviting spaces that encourage interaction and “outside the classroom” learning.  

Each residential wing was designed as a “community within a community;” small commons rooms with comfortable furnishings promote interaction among neighbors. 


“Remarkable job of transforming a 1960s dormitory into an inviting, comfortable residence hall with attractive public spaces. A very nice living space for students.”--2013 jury