VCU Brandcenter, Richmond

The 2012 Inform Awards jury recognized this project by Baskervill, architect of record, and Clive Wilkinson Architects, design architect, for its interior design excellence.

Photos by Allen Jones—VCU Creative Services

The owners of Brandcenter wanted this project to promote practical applications in an open, collaborative environment simulating real-life ad agency conditions while expanding the school’s advertising, media, and communications functions.

Creating a communal setting was paramount. Starting with an existing, historic, three-story brick carriage house, the design goal was to create an addition that would harmonize with the old but also add new, supplementary services and technology.

The original building provides the main teaching space, complemented by a new building that includes modern facilities and additional classroom and meeting space, as well as seismic bracing of the old building.

Partitions fold down from the ceiling to create small-group space.

The purpose of Brandcenter is to provide a progressive environment to inspire, nurture, and foster creativity. A giant cement table in the basement-level student space accommodates groups of all sizes any time of day, as seen above. The first floor is composed of reconfigurable space and classrooms, and the second floor is faculty space configured for small, one-on-one student interactions. This setup allows students and faculty to have their own areas, with boundaries that are dynamic and open.

Open communication is facilitated through a series of small and large open spaces, such as informal breakout areas throughout each floor. At 32,000 square feet, the final space fosters collaboration and interaction as well as serving as a beautiful addition to the campus.

 

The 2012 Inform Awards jury one honor award in Landscape Architecture, one honor award and two merit awards in Object Design, and two honor awards and one merit award in Interiors. You can read about those projects here. The jury also identified 28 projects as worthy of recognition for design excellence. ReadInform.com will publish those projects throughout the year, and they can be seen in aggregate here.

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