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Two Buildings on ODU Campus Receive Architecture Awards

Two buildings recently erected on the Old Dominion University campus have been selected by the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate for 2009 Excellence in Development design awards.

The new Physical Science Building, which opened earlier this year, received an award of merit for Best Institutional/Public Building and the Powhatan Sports Complex earned an award of merit as Best Recreation/Entertainment/Hospitality project.

The Physical Science Building, an addition to ODU's Oceanography and Physics Building, was designed by RRMM Architects and built by contractor Whiting Turner.

"This project does two things very well," the jurors wrote. "As an addition, it works with the existing building as well as the adjacent facilities to define outdoor open space. At the same time, the design uses curvilinear forms to make a statement about entry."

The judges also applauded the new structure for incorporating the existing building design with horizontal banding, and using color to emphasize the entry. They also like that the building's interior uses curvilinear patters to emphasize gathering areas and utilizes indirect lighting and a feature wood wall to connect multiple levels.

The 58,000-square-foot wing rises three stories above a newly enlarged pond with a footbridge. It houses the Nuclear and Particle Physics Research Facility, the Marine Aquatics Facility, the College of Sciences Major Instrumentation Cluster Laboratory, the Microprobe Laboratory, the Environmental and Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, the Evolutionary Ecology Laboratory, the Molecular Systematics Laboratory and Fish Morphology Laboratory, the Biomechanics Laboratory, the Benthic Ecology Laboratory and the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium.

ODU's Powhatan Sports Complex was designed by Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering, and built by contractor S.B. Ballard Construction Co.

The judges said the building provides two significant roles: "It establishes a strong sense of entry at the corner of the block. It also establishes and frames the playing surface."

In addition, they lauded the use of curvature and transparency to pull visitors into the complex, and noted that the variety of vantage points offered for the various fields of play adds to the interest of the building.

The complex, which opened in 2008, includes two football practice fields and a field hockey/lacrosse stadium that seats 1,500.

The 13th annual Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate for 2009 Excellence in Development design awards were handed out at a gala at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott on Oct. 22.

The competition attracted 40 submissions, which pleased organizers, as the opening of new buildings in the region has been slowed dramatically by the downturn in the economy.

The judges for the awards were Mark S. Hassinger, president of WestDulles Properties Inc. of Dulles, Va.; Alan L. Hansen, director of architecture for DBI Architects Inc. of Reston, Va.; J. Eric Moss, prinicipal of Ayers/Saint/Gross of Baltimore; and H. Randolph Holmes Jr., senior principal and president of Glave and Holmes Associates of Richmond, Va.

This article was posted on: November 10, 2009

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