Radcliff Hall Admissions
Poised on the northern edge of campus, the new Admissions Office & Visitor’s Center at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia is designed to sensitively respond to two different contextual fabrics: Longwood’s campus and the Town of Farmville. This building site was strategically chosen because it is directly across High Street from Ruffner Hall, the honorific “old main” of the campus. As the only University-commissioned building on the north side of High Street, it serves as an intentional hinge between town and gown, institution and neighborhood.
Longwood University also commissioned the architectural team to design a monument to the expansion of American liberty. It celebrates the consequential history of Farmville, and honors founding father Patrick Henry, the freed-slave community of Israel Hill, and courageous Civil Rights pioneer Barbara Johns, along with the generation of students who sacrificed years of public education in their legal fight to defeat school segregation.
The building extends the University’s Jeffersonian Classical tradition, offering a recognizable front door to the campus experience and making a strong visual connection with the character of the historic campus. The building’s scale, massing, and details also respond to the adjacent historic residential fabric. The building’s wings, pitched slate roof and chimneys evoke a residential quality and a welcoming first impression, while the main “house” draws upon Palladian-Jeffersonian inspired civic proportions which relate to the scale of the historic campus.
On the interior a dramatic double-height space greets visitors while flanking sitting areas, each with fireplace, provides a more intimate setting. Expressive detailing and visual displays introduce potential new students to Longwood’s history and mission. Two presentation rooms provide a place for Longwood to address prospective students and their families. Overall, the building communicates the school’s vision to ‘develop citizen leaders prepared to make positive contributions to the common good.’