The Perry Street Edge: Developing A New Pedestrian Portal To Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech


At the crossing of a strong architectural edge and an axis line, it is necessary to articulate the intersection and acknowledge the moment. But what if, at the point of this intersection, other contextual factors work against the articulation? What if there is an opportunity to not only mark the intersection, but in doing so strengthen the edge condition, elevate the importance of the axis line and provide a celebrated threshold experience?

This project looks at this very condition as it exists within the context of the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. At the intersection of the axis of symmetry for the campus and the building edge along Perry Street, there is no acknowledgment of this crossing. In fact, in its present condition, the intersection is beset by a breakdown in the edge condition and only a trace of the powerful axis line. In addressing the challenges that plague this existing condition, this project will seek to achieve four things with respect to the Virginia Tech campus, at large:

  1. Articulate the termination point of the axis of symmetry for the campus by strengthening the pedestrian path that runs along the axis providing a clearly defined route to the Drill Field.

  2. A redefinition of the edge along Perry Street, repairing the breech in the building wall and connecting the components that make up the edge.

  3. Strengthen intersection of the edge and the axis/path line by developing a new pedestrian portal into the heart of campus thereby providing a formal entry point along an edge that currently does not articulate the entry points into campus.

  4. Develop the architectural context within the site, bridging the divide between the architectural traditions of the campus core with the modernist vernacular of the Perry Street Edge.



Virginia Tech, portal, edge, axis