Glavé & Holmes Architecture and the Christopher Newport Hall team were presented with a 2016 Excellence in Development Design Award of Merit by the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate.
The awards program took place October 11 at the Chrysler Museum of Art. The mission is to identify, encourage, and reward excellence in development design in the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area. See the judges’ comments below:
As the crown jewel of an emerging neoclassical campus, Christopher Newport Hall completes the great lawn which is the focal point of the campus. The placement of a building is as important as the design, and the siting of Christopher Newport Hall leaves no doubt about its importance. The building is symbolically and literally the front door to the campus. It serves not only as the venue for orientation but is the “One Stop Shop” for student services and academic success programs. The university’s administrative offices are also housed there along with financial aid and the office of admissions.
The architecture describes the building’s importance through the use of an elevated main floor, or piano nobile, reached by mounting a set of monumental stairs. This feature recalls earlier courthouses and civic buildings intended to inspire awe. A nicely proportioned courtyard brings light to the center of the building and gives a sense of human scale to the composition. The building is exquisitely detailed from the Corinthian columns, to the rusticated base to the jack arches, to forms and motif carried inside from outside.
In an ingenious move to preserve the volumetric experience of the dome, the architects used a glass floor at the fourth floor since the building code did not allow the opening to continue more than three floors up. This allows people on any floor to see through to the top of the dome. The building reads as a finely crafted, careful, and cohesive composition inside and out.