Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA) has designed the College of Business and Economics (COBE) for Radford University. In addition to supporting COBE’s academic mission of raising the stature of the program among its peers, the 112,000 square foot “signature” building serves as a gateway to campus. The building has two “fronts,” as it faces the surrounding neighborhood to the south, and expansive glazing frames elevated views north over the campus. This slope across the site mandates an intimate two-story south front, and a three- and four-story elevation facing campus.
Bridging COBE’s desire to project a forward-thinking image while respecting Radford’s traditional campus architecture drives the “transitional” design aesthetic. The structure maintains the existing materials palette of brick, limestone detailing and slate roofs, while expanding the architectural vocabulary towards a modernized, distilled classicism. The cupola recalls similar features on campus, but at the highest elevation of any of the campus structures, it serves as a beacon to mark this important structure and the campus edge.
The building contains state-of-the- art technology in classroom and collaborative environments, administrative and faculty offices, a two-story atrium space, and a flexible large assembly space. The project is targeted for attainment of LEED Gold status; sustainable features include green roofs, ice storage HVAC system, and rainwater harvesting. Collaborating with G&HA is Ayers Saint Gross, who serves as consultant providing programming and interior architecture.