University of Virginia: School of Architecture

History & Culture

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History of Campbell Hall

The building, completed in 1970, was named for Edmund S. Campbell who served as director of the McIntire Department of Art from 1927 to 1950. During this time period the architecture program was part of the Department of Art. The architect of Campbell Hall was Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Massachusetts, Pietro Belluschi, Design Consultant, and Rawlings, Wilson and Associates of Richmond, Virginia. In 2008, the School completed additions to expand Campbell Hall. Three formal additions to the building — to the south and east, and a landscape connecting them — complement the original building. The additions were designed by our own faculty, in collaboration with the architect of record — SMBW Architects of Richmond, VA. The project added approximately 13,000 square feet of new interior space, as well as exterior spaces designed to extend the working areas of the school into the site.

South Addition

William Sherman’s design of the south addition addresses the enormous need for faculty office space. In a school whose faculty has tripled since the building was constructed in 1970, an addition providing 26 new offices will solve many problems. Sherman’s faculty offices relate to the studios in a way that recalls the relationship of the pavilions to the Lawn. The south porches, as at Monticello, have an important climatic role. In the summer they act as chimneys, cooling themselves as air moves, and in the winter they will act as solaria, capturing light and warmth. The glass louvers filter sunlight into the offices and porches, with a potential for future energy production.

East Addition

Designed by W.G. Clark, the east addition--a tall, thin mini-tower, serves as the new face of the School: From the east, the School now has a presence on Rugby Road. The visitor looks into a striking space combining reception, review, and exhibition areas. An elevator and stair tie the building together vertically. The rooms of the East Tower enable multiple permutations of space and gathering. Some pin-up wall panels fold down to become seminar tables, transforming the room into a dual purpose space. This new configuration allows students in all four departments to use review rooms throughout the day and evening. The building’s interior north wall features panels designed to pivot, enabling a class to pin up work on both sides. These new spaces have transformed the way we think of studio gatherings.

Landscape Addition

The South Wing and East Tower additions to Campbell Hall served as challenging catalysts for reconnecting the School of Architecture to its larger context. Warren T. Byrd, Jr. articulated a vision for a series of new and adapted landscapes for Campbell Hall: a sequence of passages and places that give long neglected aspects of the Architecture School a greater presence within the University community. The landscape design has three distinct, interrelated precincts - the Passage, the Traverse and the South Slope. While each of these landscapes has a unique character, all establish continuity within the project and in relation to the larger setting. They express regional and local hydrology, geology, and ecology. They create corridors of movement and occupiable places of gathering and repose that mediate between the interior and exterior of Campbell Hall. Design Firms: Scribner Messer Brady Wade Architects Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
WG Clark Associates Architects
William Sherman and Associates Architects Photography: Nathan Petty School of Architecture Photo Archives

School Culture

The School of Architecture is a diverse, respectful, and open community. Our students, staff and faculty are excellent at what they do, and our diversity contributes to such excellence. As people who care about the built environment, we recognize that diversity is an essential component of our efforts to understand culture, space, embodied experience, and human values. We see diversity in all its forms as a source of resilience, flexibility, and creativity, and are committed to actively learning from our differences. We come from many ethnic, religious and socio–economic backgrounds; we include women and men of all ages and abilities; we are heterosexual, gay and transgender. We are proud of our history of finding strength and insight through our diversity, and actively seek new ways to bring diverse points of view and life experiences to our academic community. The School of Architecture embraces collaboration as a means to gain knowledge through the interaction of people from various backgrounds, cultures, disciplines, and belief systems. It is through these interactions that a common language is created, synergy is created, and by which we see the efforts of individual research and thought within a larger context.


Research Themes

Identified by faculty, staff, and students in fall 2009, these six research themes encompass the School’s ongoing research, teaching, and projects.

Spring Option Studios

Each spring graduate students are allowed to enroll in an option studio, which are typically interdisciplinary studios addressing a situation locally or internationally.

The Common Course

All incoming graduate students are required to enroll in the Common Course, which provides the students with an understanding of the work done within each department within the School, and allows the students to recognize how one might apply their research interests to the greater School community.

The Larger Community

  • Initiative reCOVER focuses on the research, design development, and fabrication of transitional disaster relief shelters.
  • Started by a student initiative, the University of Virginia’s Community Garden hopes to be a space for both Charlottesville and the University to learn more about organic gardening. Keeping with the agricultural traditions of the University’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, the garden is a place to foster the growth of community as well as food.

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