University of Virginia: School of Architecture

Student Work at the AIA New York Center for Architecture


Student work will be exhibited at the AIA New York Center for Archictecture as part of a Mary Miss / City as Living Laboratory (MM/CaLL) project.

BROADWAY: 1000 Steps, a project initiated by MM/CaLL, seeks to establish New York City's iconic avenue as its ‘green’ corridor where current and planned sustainability initiatives can be made tangible and accessible to every citizen at street level. The long-term goal is to create a framework to incrementally transform Broadway through a series of projects by artists, designers, and creative thinkers in collaboration with scientists and citizens that reveal our connections to and our dependence upon the resources supplied by the natural environment.

This exhibition presents the initial steps that have been taken to map issues along the length of Broadway and the Toolkit, designed by Miss, to reveal these issues. Also represented are voices of community leaders, local citizens, and expert scientists who have helped guide the CaLL team as well as research and proposals by over 100 students from U.Va. and other colleges and universities around the country.

Karen Van Lengen was Director of the Academic Initiative of the eight schools that participated.

Learn more on the AIA New York website


Updated: March 11, 2013

Laurie Olin Awarded 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal


The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in architecture, law and citizen leadership, to, respectively:

  • Laurie Olin, a distinguished professor, author and renowned landscape architect whose designs include the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington, D.C. and Bryant Park in New York City.
  • Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who has led the bureau’s post-9/11 transformation.
  • Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, which has inspired more than 38,000 top recent college graduates and young professionals to join the movement to ensure educational opportunity for all.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president, excelled and held in high regard.

The awards are presented annually on Jefferson's birthday – April 13, known locally as Founder’s Day – by U.Va., which he founded in Charlottesville in 1819, and by the  Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates his home, Monticello. This year, April 13 falls on a weekend, so the medals will be presented April 12.

Laurie Olin will be presenting a talk titled Civic Realism and Landscape on April 12 at 3pm in the Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.

Read the full story at UVA Today.

Updated: May 28, 2013

Charlottesville Planning Commission awards U.Va. School of Architecture


On February 12, Inaki Alday and Kim Tanzer accepted the Design Professional of the Year Award on behalf of the School of Architecture’s Belmont Vortex design workshop.

The workshop developed in response to the “Project Gait-Way” initiative, a design competition organized by residents of the Belmont neighborhood. Approximately 300 students, representing all disciplines of the School of Architecture, formed 29 teams to re-imagine the Belmont Bridge and its function within the larger community. The workshop proved to be a success, sparking dialogue amongst the community, producing innovative and creative design concepts that are informing future planning decisions, and creating a model for similar design competitions in the future. 

The Belmont Vortex project was commended as an invaluable collaborative opportunity with the City of Charlottesville as well as its residents, and paves the way for continued engagement with the community.

Urban Planning graduate student Yusen Wang also received an award for his work during the summer of 2012 with Neighborhood Development Services. The Herman Key Jr. Access to the Disabled Award was given to Yusen's "invaluable service" to the City of Charlottesville through his efforts in accessibility issues and resulting ADA improvements.

Updated: February 15, 2013

School of Architecture's Rivanna River Workshop and Competition Sparks Innovative Ideas


by Robert Hull and Jenny Abel

"Water covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, and our bodies are roughly 60 percent water.

Acknowledging water’s omnipresence, students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Architecture have focused this year on the idea of water through coursework, lectures and research.

Last week, as a part of an ambitious weeklong design workshop, nearly 400 U.Va. architecture students, from second-year undergraduates to the master’s graduating class, gathered from all four of the school’s disciplines – architecture, landscape architecture, urban and environmental planning and architectural history – to explore the subject of water – specifically, the Rivanna River.

The “Rivanna River Vortex All-School Workshop” followed a similar format as last year’s successful “Belmont Bridge Vortex,” in which the entire school was also mobilized."


Read the full story at UVAToday

Updated: January 30, 2013

All-School Research Focus: Water



Water defines the blue planet, Earth.  Its surface is 71% water; our bodies are roughly 60% water.  But water's distribution is uneven and unfair.  Even in climatically stable times, parts of the planet receive less or more rainfall, leading to deserts and rain forests, each with inventive human adaptations.  In today's time of rapid change, evidenced in sharp population increase and mass migrations, dramatic resurfacing of lands through deforestation and erosion, and catastrophic weather events, water can amplify this destabilization.  Often negative impacts disproportionately fall to those least able to protect themselves: many of the world's poorest people live in flooding deltas; others drink polluted water; and millions walk miles daily to find it.   But not always:  hurricanes do not avoid wealthy communities, polluted or drying aquifers serve the rich and poor alike, floods ravage lakeside vacation homes, and tidal surges wash out everything at the water's edge.  Nonetheless, it is often said that a small minority of the people on the planet use the vast majority of its resources, water included.

How can we imagine the blue planet in equilibrium, with adequate water where we need it, when we need it?  How can we re-imagine the theoretical and physical construction of adaptive water infrastructures, equitable distribution systems, and daily individual practices? Can water be safe to drink and to bathe in and, very selectively, to use for irrigation?  What can we learn from the past and from cultures beyond our own?  Can we envision preferred futures in which the constructed environment is part of the solution?   How can we hold in our minds and practices the paradox that water is equally a design element, a valuable resource, and a dangerous threat?

At the School of Architecture we focus on water in our daily actions, in our teaching, and through our research.  From the rain garden at Campbell Hall, designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz as part of the Campbell Constructions, to a study-abroad program in India and a recent alumni project based in Cape Town, Ghana, to a longtime focus on coastal resilience and clean water, faculty, students, staff, and alumni have concentrated on the importance of water on the blue planet.  During the 2012-13 academic year we will further concentrate our efforts on water, through ongoing coursework and a special series of lectures, exhibits, and an all-school charrette on Charlottesville’s Rivanna River.

A Zen saying tells us, “If you want to understand the teachings of water, just drink.”  At the School of Architecture, we do.

For more, visit The Water Index, a blog that tracks various SARC water activities this year as well as water resources within the School. 

Updated: December 18, 2012

Isaac Cohen (MLA'13 and Howland Travelling Fellow) to present at Eruv Symposium


Isaac Cohen (MLA'13) will present at the Mystery and History of the Eruv Symposum at the Yeshiva University Museum Center for Jewish History on Sunday, October 28. His presentation, titled "Expanding Eruv: Urban Typologies and the Making of Jewish Space," will develop his research initiated on the Howland Travelling Fellowship.

See the attached document for the symposium schedule and information.

Updated: October 22, 2012

$2 Million Gift will Fund Professorship in Design and Health


(applications due December 31, 2012; posting open until February 1, 2012)

"The University of Virginia School of Architecture Foundation has received a $2 million gift to establish a cross-disciplinary professorship in design and health.

The Mary Irene DeShong Professorship in Design and Health at the School of Architecture was established by two anonymous donors to support the mission of the school’s Center for Design and Health, launched in May 2011, and to foster a new curriculum centered on design and health within the school. The center is believed to be the only research center in the U.S. that focuses on a variety of health issues across a wide range of scales and regions as well as the design and planning of patient-centered health care facilities, healing gardens and learning centers."

Updated: December 12, 2012

Lunch: The Student Journal of the UVA School of Architecture


lunch is a student-run publication of faculty, student, and alumni work at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.


[The term 'lunch' is an informal derivation of the word luncheon. The colloquialism of the term coupled with some 'talk of you and me' speaks to the core intention of this collection. lunch is inspired by chance; by chance discussions that grow from a meal in a shared setting and by chance discussions that alter or challenge views of the space and place we inhabit. lunch provides for the meeting of diverse voices in common place tended by a casual atmosphere. To lunch suggests an escape from the day's work; perhaps even a break. The works collected in previous editions of lunch mix a range of studies, conversations, drawings, statements, and stories that together aspire to reflect the student and educational experience at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.]

Updated: November 25, 2013

A-School to Welcome 11 New Faculty in Fall 2012


A European garden expert, architects from Spain, a geophysicist-turned-architect, a planning and land use expert who has advised communities in Kenya and Uganda, and a former South Carolina trim carpenter—all of these are among the University of Virginia School of Architecture’s newest faculty recruits.

“I am excited to welcome our 11 new faculty members this fall,” Dean Kim Tanzer said. “They will bring their unique and varied experiences from around the world, as well as their collaborative and interdisciplinary teachings to help further the vision of the A-school.”

This year’s cohort of incoming faculty is larger than usual—more than twice the 2011 volume of hires—and the culmination of a year-long search process full of interviews and committee work.

In addition to filling gaps in important areas of expertise, the appointments represent the School’s broader, continued effort to internationalize the curriculum, promote civic engagement, and build collaborative, multidisciplinary links across departments—and beyond to other schools at U.Va.

Landscape architect and historian Michael Lee has been named the A-school’s Reuben McCorkle Rainey Professor in the History of Landscape Architecture. A published author specializing in the intersection of philosophy, literature, and landscape design in Europe, Lee was most recently a postdoctoral associate at Dumbarton Oaks—the Harvard-run research library and collection in Washington, DC.

Other incoming faculty include Virginia Teaching Fellow Brian Osborn, who founded  and directs BOTH Landscape and Architecture firm in New York and is visiting for the next two years from Rutgers University, as well as returning A-school faculty member Jeana Ripple, whose knowledge of computing as applied to design will be invaluable to the Department of Architecture. Ripple previously taught at the A-school from 2006 to 2008.

Newly appointed as an associate professor, Suzanne Moomaw will continue using her varied experience in Community and Economic Development to strengthen the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at the A-school, where she has been teaching since 2009.

All new School of Architecture faculty for fall 2012 are listed below by department, with links to more details about their backgrounds.

Department of Architecture:

Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh, Lecturer

Matthew Jull, Assistant Professor

Esther Lorenz, Lecturer

Seth McDowell, Assistant Professor

Jordi Nebot, Lecturer

Jeana Ripple, Assistant Professor


Department of Landscape Architecture:

Teresa Galí-Izard, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture

Michael Lee, Reuben McCorkle Rainey Professor in the History of Landscape Architecture/Associate Professor

Brian Osborn, Visiting Lecturer

Leena Cho, Visiting Lecturer


Department of Urban and Environmental Planning:

Ellen Bassett, Associate Professor

Suzanne Morse Moomaw, Associate Professor

Updated: August 10, 2012

ARH 5602: Chimborazo Park Study

Group project ARH 5602: Community History Workshop Related faculty:
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Project Details

Chimborazo Park Study

Semester project

Each year, the University of Virginia Community History Workshop undertakes an in-depth historical analysis of the architecture, planning, and landscape form of a single Virginia community. The investigation focuses upon social and cultural history as it relates to and is expressed in community design. Using building, population census, land conveyance, subdivision, condemnation, tax, probate and other archival records, members of the class from all disciplines explore how the meaning of place is invented and reinvented through time. The fall portion of this year long class provides the background research that is then used as the basis for design, narrative and planning proposals in the spring semester.

The example above highlights the fall research completed and exhibition assembled for Chimborazo Park in the City of Richmond. Over the last 200 years, the land on this prominent bluff overlooking the James River has been transformed from fields of corn, wheat, and oats, to the site of Confederate barracks and one of the largest Confederate military hospitals. It has also served as a Freedmen’s Bureau refugee camp for freed slaves, and then finally Richmond’s first expansive landscaped park. Today, Chimborazo Park continues to serve as recreational space for the neighborhood of Church Hill. The exhibit created by students and presented to area representatives is intended to enrich the experience of the park and the City of Richmond for local residents and visitors as well as to serve as the foundation for continuing design and planning work in the spring semester . For more information about the park see