Franck & Lohsen Architects

Willet Hall/Curry-Frazer Hall, Longwood University

Farmville, Virginia

Having been selected to serve as the host for the 2016 Vice Presidential Debate, Longwood University set the stage for this national event. The venue for this prestigious event was held in the gymnasium complex — Willet Hall. Built in 1978 this building contributed little to the established historical character of the core of this Jeffersonian-Palladian campus. The first phases of improvement was the renovation of the primary façade on Brock Commons — the primary pedestrian allee on campus. This served as the primary entry for the Vice Presidential Debate and was renovated to add dignity to this building so as to help bring this building into the timeless architecture prevalent on the rest of the campus. Boasting a strong Doric order of classical architecture, the architecture now fits in with the campus and also relates to the strength and solidity associated with both fitness and athletic competition as well as with Doric architecture.

Currently underway, phase two for this project is the renovation of the residential towers Curry-Frazer Halls. Built in 1970, this pair of 10 story mid-rises are home to (up to) 405 students each. Like Willet Hall, these buildings do not currently reinforce the traditional architecture on campus. Phase two will start the process of completely gutting and refacing the buildings adding new systems, completely new interiors, a new exterior skin with classical detailing, porches, and a tower on each side to add student lounges to each floor. A pair of new cupolas atop the towers will add an identifiable element to the skyline. A new entry plaza at the center of the pair of buildings will add a new entry to the buildings and created a strong connection between the town of Farmville and the campus. Reminiscent of historic downtown apartment buildings and hotels, this new renovation will look timeless and will be fully contemporary on the interior with new systems and spaces appropriate for students today.