Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
O’Shaughnessy Hall Learning Quad
Lord Aeck Sargent’s team of landscape architects and designers crafted a signature outdoor learning quad associated with the renovation of O’Shaughnessy Hall, designed in collaboration with Mosely Architects.
The renovation of the building envisions a conversion from a traditional dormitory model to a Residential College. The integration of what was once neglected and underutilized space on the back side of the building into the educational and lifestyle programming of the building creates a unique opportunity blend the indoors with the outside.
Design solutions created a variety of flexible outdoor spaces that can be inhabited and programmed for learning opportunities. One of the key spaces is an outdoor porch that ties back seamlessly into a renovated lobby and lounge area for residents, with a recessed ceremonial outdoor room that celebrates the matriculation process in a symbolic procession into and through it.
Given its unique location on campus, the outdoor learning quad is designed to be a counterpoint to the traditional open lawn quadrangles found across the University, utilizing a more detailed landscape and hardscape approach to define a variety nodes and social opportunities, while also maintaining through pedestrian and service circulation in a way that is not only seamless, but enhances accessibility across the site. The resulting collage of elements has become a truly dynamic place.