The Design Center provides planning and design assistance to communities and non-profit organizations throughout the Commonwealth that are unable to afford the services of a private consultant, or are not ready to hire a consultant. The underlying philosophy behind our work is Healthy Living by Design which means creating designs that take into consideration factors that help create healthy environments. This includes aspects such as the physical, psychological, and intellectual well-being of users as well as the health of the environment. Project work is focused on planning and design assistance that affords healthy living opportunities such as conceptual open space master plans and greenway designs; creating landscape designs for outdoor learning opportunities; creating rain garden designs that reduce and filter stormwater run-off; and conceptual architectural designs that incorporate aspects of “green” architecture such as green roofs, daylighting, and recommendations for sustainable materials.

The Virginia Department of Forestry has recognized the importance of Healthy Living by Design and has partnered with the Design Center to provide grants to communities seeking urban forestry related planning and design assistance. Many thanks are due for this forwarding thinking partnership that has assisted so many communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Design Center work also embodies a sensitivity to the region’s history, whether regional or local. One example of this is our recent Lost Communities of Virginia publication that highlights a cross-section of once thriving communities from throughout the state.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Marion, VA: Octagon House Barn Complex Conceptual Design 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Tucker, Lisa; Twillman, Haley; Nguyen, Stephanie; Rowden, Jennalee; Peterson, Jessica
    The Abijah Thomas House is an octagon house, which was a part of the trend of octagon architecture of 1850s America. The house was completed in 1858 for Abijah Thomas of Smyth County, who was a property, slave owner, and ...
  • St. Paul, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment Plan for the Former Texaco Site 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Jones, Kevin; Tomaselli, Devon; Singh, Shruti; Olotu, Anu; Buyer, Lindsey (2018-11-19)
    The purpose of this project was to work with the property owners and other stakeholders to identify possible new uses for the former Texaco site located at 3051 4th Avenue in St. Paul, and the “pink building” located at ...
  • Dante, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment of the Dante Depot 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Tucker, Lisa; Roebuck, Kontessa; Tobias, Meredith; Piotrowski, Samantha; Smith, Victoria
    This project was the third community planning project organized as Dante works to revitalize its community and downtown region. This third phase of work focused on the redevelopment of the Dante Depot. Using community ...
  • Dante, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment of the Arty Lee School Property 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Tobias, Meredith; Roebuck, Kontessa
    The Arty Lee School is an important part of the Dante community’s African American history. This final concept proposes an adaptive reuse of the eastern most footprint of the original building. The design turns this ...
  • Marion, VA: Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center Conceptual Expansion Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Allen, Kristen; Roebuck, Kontessa (2018-08-14)
    Originally opened in 1957, the HMLRC has been most notably known for its incredibly scenic property and as a rustic youth camp offered every summer. The HMLRC has operated as such primarily unchanged since its opening. The ...
  • Pocahontas, VA: Town Park Conceptual Master Plan and Town Connectivity Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Blackburn, Grayson; Tolstikhin, Anastasia (2018-07-25)
    The Pocahontas Town Park is a narrow site spanning much of the northern edge of downtown Pocahontas, VA. The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) worked with members of the town to develop a conceptual master plan for ...
  • Warm Hearth Kroontje Health Care Center: Conceptual Courtyard Redesigns 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Proctor, Nick; Tural, Elif; Roebuck, Kontessa; Chang, Donna; Dazio, Bri; Shelburne, Will (Community Design and Assistance Center, 2018-09-17)
  • Marion, VA: Abijah Thomas House Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Allen, Kristen; Tolstikhin, Anastasia
    The goal of this project was to develop a conceptual site master plan for the Abijah Thomas house (herein referred to as the Octagon House), including it’s current grounds, and surrounding properties (to be purchased in ...
  • Saltville, VA : conceptual town connectivity plan and town shop site conceptual redevelopment plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex, 1960-; Proctor, Nick, 1989- (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-12)
    The goal of this project is to create a town-wide trail linkage master plan that depcits how to increase and improve connectivity between attractions, determine possible locations for lodging options, create a design for ...
  • Olive Hill, KY : Casey Park conceptual design 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex, 1960-; Proctor, Nick, 1989- (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-11)
    The Galaxy Project is striving to establish a youth center with the primary goal being that youth become change agents in their community through volunteer services and direct involvement.
  • Pearisburg, VA: Pearisburg Town Park Conceptual Master Plan Update and Tannery Road Site Conceptual Design 

    Proctor, Nick; Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Delbridge, Lauren; Zhong, Cen; Jones, Alexander; Williams, Daphne (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-05-08)
    The purpose of this project was to develop a conceptual master plan update for the Pearisburg Town Park that benefits families, seniors, and youth and improved the quality of life by building community pride and contributing ...
  • Olive Hill, KY: Casey Park Conceptual Design 

    Proctor, NJ; Gilboy, E
    Two massive floods in May and July of 2010 nearly destroyed Olive Hill, KY’s downtown area. Recovery continues but, according to many, parts of town are “full of ugly” with dilapidated/empty buildings, vacant lots, and a ...
  • Dante, VA: Conceptual Downtown Master Plan and Park Design 

    Proctor, NJ; Gilboy, E
    This project was part two of a two-part project for the Dante community toward developing a conceptual downtown master plan that featured public open space. For part one, in January 2017 the Virginia Tech Landscape ...
  • Dungannon, VA: Town Playground Conceptual Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Jones, Alexander
    The Town began efforts in 2014 to revitalize its downtown and restore economic stability to its community that leverages its abundant cultural and natural assets. Several of those assets include the Clinch River, the High ...
  • Dante, VA: Community Design Charrette 

    Proctor, NJ; Gilboy, E
    The Virginia Tech Landscape Architecture (LAR) Program held the first Richard G. Gibbons Public Landscapes Planning and Design Vertical Charrette at the beginning of the spring semester 2017. All landscape architecture ...
  • Prestonsburg, KY: Trail Town Conceptual Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth
    The primary goal of this project was to help the City work toward their “Trail Town” certification by creating a conceptual trail master plan that connects trail networks to public spaces and provides recommendations for ...
  • Blowing Rock, NC: American Legion Site Conceptual Design 

    Proctor, NJ; Gilboy, E
    The most used pedestrian thoroughfares in Blowing Rock are the paths that connect Broyhill Park and adjacent parks with the downtown area. There are two sets of stairs that have worn down over the years, becoming dangerous ...
  • Saltville, VA: Conceptual Town Connectivity Plan and Town Shop Site Conceptual Redevelopment Plan 

    Proctor, NJ; Gilboy, E
    Over the past several years, the Town of Saltville has continued to focus on revitalizing and diversifying the community’s economic framework following the closure of Olin Chemical Corporation and Titan Wheel. Despite ...
  • Albany, KY: Conceptual Trail Linkage Plan 

    Proctor, NJ; Gilboy, E
    The Albany/Clinton County community has focused much attention on enhancing the built environment for healthy and active families over the last few years. They have benefited from enhancements and resources provided through ...

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