The Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington at 900 N. Glebe Road is part of a larger master plan that transformed an abandoned car dealership and a Staples retail store into a diverse urban development that includes 475,000 square feet of office space, research facilities, ground floor retail, below grade parking and 89 affordable housing units. The clients’ programmatic goals were to generate a highly visible, state-of-the-art facility offering great opportunity for partnerships with corporate research entities and government agencies.
The design challenge was to create a building that responded to the diverse urban context which included single family homes to the west but otherwise was surrounded by commercial buildings. The building needed to meet the programmatic requirements of Virginia Tech but also operate efficiently as a speculative office building.
The result was the seven-floor, 144,000-square-foot Virginia Tech Research Center. This project has achieved U.S. Green Council LEED-Gold certification. The mass of the building was pushed to the more commercial side of the site. The sleek, curving east façade follows the profile of the “faster”, commercial Glebe Road. The detailing of the punched precast expression relates more directly to the residential facing facades. A two-story clear glass podium holds the building lobby, exhibit space, street retail, an outdoor terrace and conference center for meetings, forums, symposia, and other events available to regional science and technology communities.
The remaining five stories of space will accommodate VT’s computational laboratories and offices, as well as the two stories of speculative office.
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