Virginia Commonwealth University, James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center

Richmond, Virginia

The new medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is designed to both accommodate and define the VCU School of Medicine community. The building brings to the medical school campus qualities that embody the spirit of higher education: space, light, air, and above all, the sense of collective endeavor that is conducive to ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMBallingerCAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$612.00FEATURED IN2013 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized achievement.

Occupying a site within the dense, urban medical school campus in the heart of downtown Richmond, the project called for a strategy that would open the building to its context while defining the building mass with a number of discrete, well-scaled components. An inviting and efficient diagonal pedestrian circulation path through the building resolves a disjuncture between the symbolic center of the campus to the east and its functional center to the west. 

With LEED silver certification as its goal, the project includes abundant natural light, as well as climate walls and internal sunshade devices. 

The building is clad in a light-toned precast concrete to respect its context while expressing the vigor and visionary aspirations of the VCU School of Medicine.