Hereford College

Location: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Date of Completion: 1992
Program: Residence and Dining Hall
Size: 150,000 SF
Awards: 1995 AIANY Architecture Honor Award
Photographer: Michael Moran

A very thorough examination and restructuring of the suggested program resulted in changing the physical and social configuration of this project from that of dormitories to a new residential college which would eventually be known as Hereford College. The new program included a dining hall, housing for 500 students, a place for “student gathering,” a computer lab and separate housing for the principal of the college.

The architectural challenge was to create a modern vision of a residential college in the context of the great influence and symbolism of Thomas Jefferson's “lawn.” These new buildings share Thomas Jefferson's love of the landscape. Hereford College is sited on a hilly, wooded, ten-acre site.  It consists of five dormitory buildings housing 525 students, a dining hall for 625 students, a faculty residence and a computer facility. The faculty residence sits at the top of the hill, the dining hill anchors the campus at the bottom of the hill, and the residences adjust themselves to the landscape in between. The walls of the college buildings form long courts, which are horizontal paved and planted planes.

A grand stair next to the faculty residence creates an outdoor amphitheater where students can gather and look out to a southern ridge of nearby mountains. 

Hereford College is a contemporary reconciliation of the land, the site, and the program. It shares with the past an understanding and love of the power and meaning of place.

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