Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Clean Energy Center

Washington County, Virginia

  • FIRM

    Train Architects


    Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center

  • AREA

    15,000 sq.ft.





Design Team:
Train Architects: M. Kirk Train FAIA (Design Architect), Thomas R. Keogh, Jr. (Managing Architect), William H. Adams AIA (Project Architect); Nolen Frisa Consulting Engineers (Structural), 2rw Consulting Engineers (MEP), Anderson & Associates (Civil), Graham Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architect), DMS (Estimating)

The Center’s purpose is ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$383.00FEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio business incubator for startup research firms focused on clean energy. Built near coal fields, the facility is uniquely situated to pursue research. It provides office field lab space to businesses and academics in an area of important study.
The challenge was to design a signature building that embodied the principles of the building’s purpose: clean energy. Its function as a R&D center and public education model set the context of the design. It exhibits its systems and educates the public from that exhibition. The building is office, research lab and self-promoter of clean, sustainable energy in one small package.
The facility faces south, and its scaling elements are intended to be read from the highway. A large parasol canopy runs the length of the south façade and shields the building from direct sunlight while enabling distant views. A wind spire anchors and organizes the central building circulation spine. The circulation is emphasized by the use of natural woods in contrast to brick walls and concrete floor. All are intended to warm and give a tactile quality.