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January 2019

The University of Virginia’s Rotunda Restoration is Awarded a 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded The University of Virginia Rotunda Restoration a 2019 Institute Honor Award for Architecture. Congratulations to John G. Waite Associates, Architects!  Kohler Ronan is honored to have collaborated with this preservation architect on such a distinguished project. Arguably Thomas Jefferson’s greatest architectural achievement, the iconic centerpiece of the University of Virginia’s Academical Village is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In collaboration with John G. Waite Associates, Architects, Kohler Ronan provided the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection portions of the historic structure report. This in-depth condition analyses and investigation led to the preparation of detailed construction documents for the $50 million project. Exterior restoration began in 2012, and was followed by significant interior renovations.

The first two of four phases of renovation consisted primarily of roof and façade restoration. Kohler Ronan then engaged in the design of the remaining phases III and IV interior renovation, improvements, and landscape.

The MEP system investigations revealed that the equipment and systems of the 1974 renovation were now beyond their expected service life, lacked adequate space for maintenance, and needed to be replaced. The anticipated replacement of all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems afforded Kohler Ronan the opportunity to improve system efficiencies, serviceability, and integration into the historic fabric.

In light of the University’s goal to redevelop the Rotunda into an interactive part of University life for the students, additional program space, restrooms, offices, and classrooms were necessary. Spaces taken by mechanical equipment and utilities during the 1974 renovation were once again needed. The design team assumed responsibility for incorporating state-of-the-art MEP systems into the historic structure, and reclaiming much needed program space for the University.

In close collaboration with John G. Waite Associates and the University, a vault, below the west courtyard and fountain, and a distribution room, below the West Oval room, were designed. Along with the two existing mechanical rooms below the North Stairs and in the South Portico, these new spaces allowed mechanical air handling equipment, duct distribution, and piping to be located outside the desired program space.

The MEP systems utilize sustainable design methods and equipment, as well as materials that limit the sources of indoor air pollution. The project is both SHPO & 36 CFR 67 compliant.

To find out more about the AIA Institute Honor Award, click here.

The University of Virginia Rotunda Restoration is also the recipient of the following:

Merit Award for Architectural Design
AIA New York State- 2018
Restoration and Renovation of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Honor Award for Interior Design
AIA Virginia – 2017
Restoration and Renovation of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Merit Award for Architectural Design
AIA New York – 2017
Restoration and Renovation of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Best Use of Carrara Marble in North America
Marble Institute of America – 2016
Restoration and Renovation of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

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Metropolitan Museum of Art Photo credit: ©Olin Sahar Coston-Hardy
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University of Virginia Photo credit: ©Anna Wesolowska / www.photographerhedman.com
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