Construction begins on University of Virginia’s Contemplative Commons building

WCN Editorial Team 11 Oct 2021 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

The University of Virginia (UVA), the US, has broken ground on the Contemplative Commons building in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Located near the Dell on Emmet Street, Charlottesville, the new 57,000ft² Contemplative Commons will include flexible learning studios for quiet reflection, academic classes, physical activity or social interaction.

It will also have many new outdoor spaces including a new green pedestrian bridge across Emmet Street, a tree-lined courtyard and contemplative gardens.

To design the new facility as a multipurpose complex, UVA’s Contemplative Sciences Center has worked with the Office of the University Architect, Aidlin Darling Design, VMDO and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.

Planned to open in 2023, the Contemplative Commons is financed by a $40m lead gift from Paul and Sonia Jones, and is also supported by gifts from Walker, additional members of the Contemplative Sciences Center’s Advisory Board, as well as other donors.

UVA president Jim Ryan said: “The programming and activities in this building will support our students’ physical, emotional, social and professional needs. In short, it will support student flourishing at UVA.

“The Contemplative Commons will also be a place that showcases innovations in teaching and learning.
“It will support experiential and engaged learning with spaces for movement, contemplation and connection.

“It will go beyond the traditional lecture hall to include hands-on learning with peers, including interconnected indoor-outdoor spaces that bring nature to the classroom and the classroom to nature.
“And it will encourage engagement with the broader Charlottesville community by offering space and community programming.”

The UVA noted that the new Contemplative Commons will expand on the work being carried out by its Contemplative Sciences Center.


Rendering of the new Contemplative Commons in Charlottesville, Virginia, the US. Credit: VMDO Architects / University Of Virginia.

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