Academic Learning Commons
Dedicated to providing an excellent learning environment for its 22,000 undergraduate students, the Academic Learning Commons provides a state-of-the-art building for learning and teaching excellence in the heart of the academic campus. The building provides a stimulating educational atmosphere, facilitates interaction between students and faculty, and supports the context of historic Richmond.
The building design, reflects VCU’s academic mission and interactive teaching format, combining formal and informal collaborative spaces with large classrooms, many with occupancies in the hundreds. To provide an opportunity for physical and intellectual collaboration, the rooms are proportioned to give instructors room to move around and interact with students, and for students to interact with each other.
Located at a crossroads of city and campus activity, the building creates connections between interior and exterior spaces. A large courtyard allows indoor interactions to spill outside on warm days. Vegetated green roofs provide garden views from the interior and help regulate indoor temperature and manage storm water. The building facade incorporates red brick masonry, cast stone, and metal detailing to tie in to the city’s historic, vernacular architecture. The design integrates different levels of building scale to transition elegantly from the small-scale residential neighborhoods of Richmond to the larger scale of VCU campus buildings.