Project DescriptionChristopher Newport Hall sits at the eastern end of Christopher Newport University’s Great Lawn, a grandly-proportioned campus green space that serves as the unifying center of the academic core. Located at the gateway to the heart of the campus, this building serves not only as the frontispiece of the Great Lawn, but is also the “crown jewel” for the University.
The grand staircase, stately dome and columned drum raise the aesthetic above the surrounding structures and allude to the importance of the building functions contained within. Positioned to be the most honorific building of campus, the Corinthian order is employed, a step above the lower orders incorporated on previous structures on the Great Lawn. The building contains student service areas, meeting rooms, presentation venues for Admissions, and administrative offices on four floors. The interior is designed to visually delight first-time guests, while serving as an introduction to Christopher Newport University. Building visitors enter either from the grand stair or at the south building entrance where they proceed up the ceremonial open stair. At the Lobby on the piano nobile, one’s eye is directed up through a series of three circular floor openings to the sunlit centerpiece domed roof.
Because state building officials disallow atriums in state construction, the design employs a fire-rated glass floor at the fourth floor to subdivide the open vertical space into code-acceptable volumes, thus allowing the desired view through to the dome above. This fire-rated structural glass floor is one of the first installed in America. This project is LEED Silver certified.