VMDO Architects

VMDO Architects

Charlottesville, VA | Washington, DC


University of Virginia Jefferson Scholars Foundation - Graduate Center for Jefferson Fellows

In order to create a nurturing academic community, the new building and grounds for the Foundation and Jefferson Fellows utilize long-lasting, natural building materials from regional producers and suppliers. Natural wood windows and structural decking add warmth to the interiors while local slate shingles, soapstone columns, and bluestone paving are used in inventive new ways while also instilling a sense of permanence. The Center’s environmental consciousness further enhances the quality of the academic community.  It is designed to meet the USGBC LEED Gold designation with sustainable features including geothermal wells and ground-source heat pumps that support a radiant floor system and fan-less valance-convector units for quiet heating and cooling.  Low-impact bio-retention basin and below-ground infiltration reduce storm water run-off and improve water quality.  The building’s roof forms shed rainwater to the courtyard interior and collect it in an underground cistern that irrigates the lawn and garden plantings. High performance windows reduce heat gain and energy loss, while native plants and trees will restore the grounds to a wooded setting.  Through the careful use of materials, resources, and energy, the building facilitates an active academic environment while itself becoming a source of inspiration.

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Status: Built
Location: Charlottesville, VA, US
Additional Credits: Photography by Prakash Patel