ODU Village Bookstore
CLIENT: Old Dominion University / Commonwealth of Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia

HRACRE (Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate) 2008 Award of Excellence

The new 45,000-square-foot Old Dominion University Bookstore and Administrative Office Building is located in a recently developed area east of the main campus called the University Village. The building's main entrance is the focal point of pedestrian activity in this mixed-use neighborhood. Adjacent to the new building is the University Convocation Center, which has a public plaza to the south of the bookstore, and the main service entrance to the west of the site. The design challenge was to integrate a four-story building into this urban setting while relating to the architectural style of the campus. This included engaging the corner location as the main entrance into the building, locating a cafe on the south side of the building to connect to the plaza, and screening the existing and new service loading areas from public view. In addition, the top floor of the building is substantially set back to create the illusion that it is a three-story building like its neighbors. A roof terrace for university staff takes advantage of the roof setback and offers views of the campus.

A main consideration in the design of the bookstore was the size of the site, which dictated a multi-story retail configuration. To encourage pedestrian movement to the second floor, escalators are positioned in a two-story atrium near the entrance. Offices and storage areas are located on the upper floors to maximize retail space.

Architecturally, the palette of materials is derived from the neighboring buildings. The main focus is the corner of the bookstore where the two-story atrium meets the revolving doors and covered entrance. This area was designed internally to accommodate hanging banners, lighting, and advertising for the bookstore. Large glass "window boxes" are located on the east side on the main shopping street, Monarch Way. The building is carved away on the south end to provide a covered outdoor dining for the cafe adjacent to the plaza.

The University Bookstore has become the main anchor for the Village retail establishments. The adjacent neighborhoods and the University now share a first-class retail bookstore and textbook collection run by Follett, as well as a new Starbuck's cafe. A program that once served only to deliver textbooks is now a thriving and vital link to the surrounding community, as well a hub for students, faculty, and staff.