A community college for the New River Valley: process methodology and design proposal

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The thesis project has two general objectives. The primary objective is to design a facility whose plan incorporates and reflects an understanding of architecture — a facility that is right for its purpose, its people and its surroundings. A secondary objective is to document the process methodology leading to the proposed design solution.

The project building type is a community college facility to serve approximately 850 students within a planned building area of 85,000 square feet. The Virginia Department of Community College's activity and space requirements document, dated November 1968, set forth for construction of phase II of the existing Radford-Pulaski Community College has been incorporated as a program requirement for this thesis project. The project site is the site of the existing Radford-Pulaski Community College which is a one hundred acre tract of land located near the Southwestern Virginia town of Dublin, in Pulaski County a part of the New River Valley Planning District.

The thesis paper traces the development of the proposed design solution through the various phases of the design process to the final presentation of the proposed facility. The paper externalizes criteria selected to generate and guide the design effort; documents objectives, motivations, convictions, intentions and design decisions; discusses process methodology employed and presents various diagrammatic drawings and physical study models generated along the design path. The paper ends without a lengthy narrative justification of the proposed design solution, but instead with a presentation of architectural drawings illustrating the proposed facility.