Ballinger, teamed with Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, designed a new academic and research facility for Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine. The building addresses a projected physician shortage and embodies VCU’s commitment to student success and human health.
Occupying a site within dense downtown Richmond, the building adds 200,000 SF of classrooms, clinical simulation and learning labs, research labs, administrative offices and student activity spaces. The design fits comfortably within the unique architectural character of Richmond while providing an iconic identity for the School of Medicine. The site is central to VCU’s urban medical campus and the building links to facilities housing hospital, clinic, teaching and research functions.
The design of the building resolves a challenge that confronted the existing campus: the disjuncture between its symbolic center, a plaza to the east, and its functional center, Sanger Hall to the west. An inviting and efficient diagonal pedestrian circulation path across the site resolves the disconnect and unifies the campus.