Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center
CLIENT: HL Development
Suffolk and Portsmouth, Virginia

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

The new Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center (VMASC) and the Tri-Cities Educational buildings are located in Suffolk and Portsmouth.

The VMASC and Tri-Cities buildings are designed to embrace the spirit of innovation, technology, and learning. The architecture is expressive of the modeling and simulation concept. The exterior walls, central atrium, and roof forms imply planes that are moving as opposed to static architecture found in most public buildings. This metaphor is repeated in the soaring glass atrium that is a landmark for the campus. Inside the atrium, a monumental stair and a symbolic bridge create an informal meeting place for faculty, staff, and students. Built-in wooden seating in the atrium provides gathering spaces outside of the classrooms.

The exterior material selections of brick, metal siding, and clear glass were used to reinforce the concept of movement in the architecture. A monumental brick arcade continues from inside the atrium onto the exterior plaza and forms a dynamic wall that invites the public to enter. The entrance for Tri-Cities faces the more public road, 164, and the VMASC main entrances faces inward toward the more contemplative side of the campus.

The new facility brings together simulation research and instruction in a combined campus environment for Old Dominion University, VMASC, and Tidewater Community College. Both buildings have classrooms, labs, and offices; The VMASC building (60,000 gross square feet) functions more as a research and development facility while the Tri-Cities building (60,000 gross square feet) houses more of the general classroom space. The two buildings are part of a master plan that includes future academic and research buildings. A third building, Mast One (60,000 gross square feet), is first in a group of privately developed R & D buildings to be built adjacent to the VMASC buildings. Also planned is a large mixed-use development on the periphery of the campus.

The highly visible campus located at the heart of Hampton Roads is a showpiece for the region's burgeoning Modeling and Simulation industry.