No. 532 . 14 September 2011 
ArchitectureWeek

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VCU Brandcenter

by Clive Wilkinson Architects, with Casey C.M. Mathewson and Ann Videriksen

The VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia — part of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Mass Communications — is one of the foremost advertising programs in North America.

In an effort to expand and broaden the educational prospectus, a new facility designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects was assembled.

A vacant historic two-story brick carriage house from 1890 provides the main school teaching space, and this is supplemented with a new 12,000-square-foot (1,100-square-meter), two-story "service structure" located alongside, which provides modern facilities and additional space on several levels, including seismic bracing of the old building.

Together, the structures house a school pioneering an advertising curriculum offering not only real-world business fundamentals and strategic branding, but hands-on understanding of the creative process and the experience of working with creative teams of students, teachers, and professionals.

The building project was an exercise in "interlacing" — a term describing the display of imagery on a computer screen in a non-contiguous manner.

The interlace effect results in a low-resolution, pixelated version of a graphic in the foreground offering graphic massing while hinting at a more fine-grain image, with higher resolution beyond.   >>>

This article is excerpted from a5 Los Angeles, edited by Casey C.M. Mathewson and Ann Videriksen, copyright © 2010, with permission of the publisher, ORO Editions.

 

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