Burchard Hall dedication September 25
By Sandy Broughton
Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 04 - September 17, 1998
The formal dedication of Virginia Tech's newest academic building, Burchard Hall, will be Friday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. at the building site, directly in front of Cowgill Hall.
Named for Charles Burchard, founding dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the 42,000-square-foot building addresses the acute shortage of space for the architecture and industrial design programs in the college. Though built below ground level, the high-ceilinged studio area is illuminated by natural light through skylights which reduce energy consumption and are controlled by louvers activated by solar sensors. Cowgill plaza, on top of Burchard Hall, has been restored as an open area to support campus-wide use as a popular meeting place and thoroughfare.
The centerpiece of Burchard Hall is the 16,000-square-foot studio space. Each studio quadrant is equipped with a seminar room, darkroom, and small computer room which facilitates the studio model of teaching. The studio area has an under-floor wiring system that gives each student access to data and power. Faculty offices overlook the studios, allowing engagement, observation, and access. Special facilities include a wood and metal shop, ceramics studio, printmaking studio, and silk-screen studio. The plastics laboratory, plaster shop, and spray-paint rooms are all new to the college and will be used extensively by both architecture and industrial design students.
The keynote speaker for the Burchard Hall dedication is William Porter, Leventhal professor of architecture and planning at MIT. As dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT from 1971 to 1981, Porter was a contemporary of Charles Burchard. Remarks will also be delivered by Paul Knox, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies; President Paul Torgersen, Joseph M. Harris, president and CEO of HLM Design, Inc.; and Henry V. Shriver, partner in the architectural firm of Shriver Holland Associates, which designed Burchard Hall.