Campus Master Plan Update

Enrollment stresses and and record growth in research funding at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) necessitated a master plan that would unify its two tightly constrained footprints, including one that is bounded by five historic districts. Completed in association with BCWH, Hanbury's update developed the identities of the individual districts located within the campus, and outlined infill projects to strengthen their characteristics. 

After a qualitative analysis of existing conditions, Hanbury developed an update that synthesized numerous supplementary planning efforts. New programming strategies and physical guidelines were put in place to facilitate future growth.The plan also outlines improvements along important pedestrian paths that will enable these routes to serve as the pedestrian spine of the campus. Monroe Park, an underutilized space near the heart of the campus, was reimagined as the central signature space of the campus and a hub of student activity. 

The success of the plan is best illustrated by more than $1 billion invested in new projects and renovation that have added 2.4 million gross square feet to campus. The plan's success can also be measured in VCU's burgeoning student body, an enhanced student experience, and the creation of campus entries that provide a sense of arrival and open the campus to continued expansion on neighboring Broad Street. Growth, renewal and re-invigoration of the park, and further unification will promote a cohesive presence for VCU in Downtown Richmond. 
“It is rewarding to see how insights... have been realized in physical form over the last two years, and how warmly they have been embraced by students, faculty and staff.”
– Mary Cox, FAIA, University Architect, Virginia Commonwealth University

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