The School of Architecture is a lively, creative and scholarly community of approximately forty full-time faculty, dozens of adjunct lecturers, and 500 undergraduate and graduate students. Each of our four departments, Architecture, Architectural History, Urban and Environmental Planning, and Landscape Architecture, is highly regarded for innovative cross-disciplinary initiatives within the School as well as with partners in other Schools in the University, and beyond.
The School of Architecture has one of the nation’s most successful track records in recruiting diverse faculty members in our disciplines. Issues of race, community and diverse cultures are explored by a number of faculty in the School, and critical questions are explored through courses, design studios, and through faculty research and creative work.
Campbell Hall serves as the School of Architecture central facility. The upper two floors provide studio space and new faculty offices, while the second floor contains the majority of administrative offices, review space, and the digital visualization lab. The first floor houses lecture halls, Planning and Architectural History student lounges, the woodshop, the A & A supply store, the Fine Arts Café, and classrooms.
The term Studio describes a place. At UVa’s School of Architecture this place is located on and encompasses most of the third and fourth floors of Campbell Hall. The term is also applied to a series of courses, undergraduate and graduate, central to the curriculum of all designers within the School. Lastly the term can be said to describe a mode of working or attitude. The phrase “I am going to studio,” can therefore mean the person is headed to the place designated as their table (i.e., workplace), or to a collection of tables. It may also mean they are headed to class - it being the time of day and week when attendance in studio is mandatory. But more often it means the individual, or class section, is going to work. The work done in studio is central to the development of well-educated and productive designers. It is no surprise the “studio model” is the one on which most design offices—from the one-person atelier to the 400-person corporate office—base their physical environment and productive interaction upon given the proven potential for success from this mode of working. The description or definition of that word “work” is hard to pin down. The nature of the work done in UVa’s studios evolves to reflect internal and external pressures and influences. So does the culture of the studio supporting the development of that work. Descriptors most often used to depict studio are laboratory, open, messy, dense, workshop, swamp/meat-locker, positive, vital, noisy, and intense. Teaching verbs most often used are consider, include, try, wonder, think, edit, and address. Studio is an educational anomaly and an enigma. Teaching is done there, but it is not a classroom. Practice happens there, but it is not a field. Production happens there, but it is not a factory. Studio is both personal space and civic space. Students manage to work for their own benefit and for the benefit of the collective—from classmates to the community.
Charlottesville sits in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a quality of life that has been recognized in national publications including Money Magazine (No. 1 best small city in the South), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine (Healthiest Place to Live), and Frommer’s Cities Ranked and Rated (No. 1 among American cities). Situated in the mountains and near the Shenandoah National Park, it is an excellent location for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, fishing, mountain biking, skiing, golf, tennis, and white water rafting.
Charlottesville is a sophisticated community that is strengthened by the University and University-related activities. For those interested in music there is the Chamber Music Series, the Charlottesville and University Symphony, and during the summers “Fridays After 5” on the Downtown Mall. Theater has a major place in the community. In addition to the productions of the Department of Drama, events include the Virginia Film Festival, the Heritage Repertory Theatre, and the summer Opera Festival at Ash Lawn.
The University's John Paul Jones Arena seats 16,000 and hosts a wide variety of sporting events as well as nationally prominent music and entertainment groups.
Charlottesville is in close proximity to major centers of the arts. Just a two hour’s drive north, Washington, DC houses the superb collections of the National Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Phillips Collection, the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Corcoran Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as the museum and library at Dumbarton Oaks. Baltimore is three hours away and offers the Baltimore Museum and the Walters Art Gallery. Just one hour east in Richmond is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, one of the few state-sponsored art museums in this country, which possesses an excellent collection with particular strengths in ancient, medieval, Renaissance, American, and modern French art.