First academic building at Virginia Tech?s Innovation Campus approved by Alexandria City Council

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The Alexandria City Council recently approved the first academic building planned for Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus. The building design recently earned rave reviews and unanimous approval from the Council and recognized for environmental sustainability features and unique architectural design.

Named Academic 1, the building was designed by SmithGroup and features key amenities like health and wellness facilities, a gem-shape design centered on the principles of sustainability, integrated technology, improved accessibility, connectivity, and flexibility. Academic 1 has been designed to LEED Silver certification standards.

Councilwoman Redella “Del” Pepper said the project is ideal for a campus environment. The Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will sit on a 3.5-acre piece of land and will be part of a 19-acre first phase of an innovation and development district in North Potomac Yard. The project is being developed by JBG SMITH.

Councilman Canek Aguirre while commenting on the project said it is a big milestone and another step in bringing the Virginia Tech dream to full reality. Mayor Justin Wilson said the Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus is being constructed at a site that was initially occupied by Potomac Yard, a former industrial rail site and one of the city’s economic powerhouses.

Project issued development special use permit

The city council unanimously voted to approve the project’s development special use permit that allows the developer to begin construction of an 11-story, 300,000 square-foot building. The university projects that the building will be ready to welcome students, staff, and faculty in 2024. The larger project will also involve the construction of two additional buildings each 150,000 square feet.

The completed Academic 1 building will offer space for office, research, instructions, and support for graduate-level programs. The building will mainly be used for computer science and computer engineering plus a few other programs.

To design the building, SmithGroup used generative and computerized design techniques to inform its unique geometry.