The Virginia Tech Student Wellness Project was on display recently at the fourth annual AIA Baltimore Health + Wellness Showcase. Intended to be a discussion within the design and construction community of Baltimore, the event highlights projects making a positive effect on health and wellness. As an AIA Baltimore Member and the project’s lead designer, I was excited to present the project – discussing an overview of the project’s process, its integration of programmatic elements and departments, its unique design features, and the transformative effect it will have on holistic student wellness at Virginia Tech.
In the call for submissions, AIA Baltimore described the effect designers have on developing healthier communities:
“Cities and communities that foster healthy living, mental well-being and social cohesion don’t just happen. It takes forward thinking and innovative designers to create spaces that make healthy living a natural component of everyday life. And those spaces are brought to life by a diversity of professionals: The urban planner who designs new bike lanes throughout the city; the landscape architect’s healing garden for children; the contractor who brings the adaptive reuse vision to life; the architect’s design of a school that becomes a community anchor. Everyone has a role in shaping healthier communities.”
Projects ranged from conceptual hospitals to landscape redevelopment along the Baltimore Inner Harbor, to drug recovery centers – all highlighting aspects of the health and wellness spectrum. The showcase also provided an opportunity for architecture thesis students at nearby Morgan State University to present projects focused on creating healthy environments.
Below is the Virginia Tech SWS board on display at the showcase. The project was recently highlighted in an article by Campus Rec and will be the subject of a presentation (by Mike Glaros and me) at the Association of College Unions International 2019 Conference in Indianapolis.