Southside Virginia Community College Christanna Campus Master Plan Update

ALBERTA, VA Completed 2015
  • New Student Center | Learning Resource Center
  • New Academic Quad
  • Enhanced Community Presence

A Sense of Place on a Small, Rural Campus

This master plan update was driven by the need to modify the existing plan and identify the site for a new Student Center | Learning Resource Center. In doing so, the College wished to establish a vision for a high quality collegiate environment: one in which the intrinsic pastoral beauty of the landscape is celebrated, while building placement and site planning offer a landmark presence in the community and an engaging, memorable experience for users.

The Christanna Campus is situated in a rural location with three existing buildings and parking occupying a small portion of a 130 acre parcel. The existing facilities do not have a strong visible presence. The new Student Center is an opportunity to create a more favorable image of the campus as viewed from the roadways, however such a student-centered building also needs to be conveniently located with pedestrian connections to the academic core. The planning solution locates the Student Center such that it can become a landmark, and organizes the campus as two small precincts: the Academic Core and the Student Services Core. These two precincts are defined by intimate outdoor spaces and connected by a new east/west path, with the Student Center as a terminus. The path makes pedestrian connections and defines the edge of the built landscape as it traverses the edge of the very appealing natural landscape, celebrating a treasured campus feature.

The overall approach to planning is characterized by intimate outdoor spaces and pedestrian pathways which are defined by building placement and landscape elements. Appropriate for a small campus, these spaces and pathways will serve to organize pedestrian circulation in pleasing and legible ways as they become memorable parts of the campus fabric and are integral to the learning environment.