Longwood University's Bedford Hall newly renovated and expanded home for its visual arts program has gained national attention in American School & University's 23rd Annual Educational Interiors Showcase. Chosen as one of the top 14 projects from a national pool of 80 submitted projects, each submission was evaluated by a combined judging panel of school administrators and design professionals. Bedford Hall's exemplary design qualities and features earned it top marks as a Silver Citation winner. The project has also been recognized in the 2013 AGC Washington Contractor Awards.
Bedford Hall re-opened its doors in July of 2012, renewed and expanded to approximately 71,000 square feet, comprised of the original 1,972 building plus a 45,099-square-foot state-of-the art addition. The project provides a beautifully designed gallery, studio space, presentation lecture hall, faculty studios, wood shop, arts event courtyard with reflecting pool, and outdoor, working studio space for the ceramics and metals/foundation programs. Expansive glass in the lobby and gallery was used to honor the university's mission to put the "arts on display" and invite student and community engagement around the arts. A new student gallery and outdoor arts garden are the focal points of the building, both facing the university's iconic Brock Commons, the primary student pedestrian thoroughfare on campus, and near the recently completed theater arts building. Bedford Hall is anticipated to receive a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Notable sustainable features include natural day-lighting, low-energy mechanical systems, low-emissivity glazing, increased wall and roof insulation, and water reducing plumbing fixtures. Translucent glass fin mullions serve as the primary sun shading device for the gallery space while maintaining the highest degree of transparency possible. In addition, full height channel glass on the northern facade provides the greatest amount of diffused light appropriate for art studios.
Costello Construction, the general contractor of the project, completed the complex project in two phases: phase one was construction of a 48,656-square-foot addition to the existing Bedford Hall building built in the late 1960’s, followed by phase two, the complete renovation of the existing building. The completed project nearly tripled the size of the original space and completely transformed the look and feel of the building, adding nearly twice as much studio space and transforming the center to look vastly different both inside and out. Both the new construction and the renovated portions of the project were designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards, including sustainable features in lighting, glass, windows, insulation, sensors, and roofing. The exterior features red brick and glass with a steel structural system painted white where exposed.
The project features unique design elements including exposed concrete floors and ceilings and numerous studio spaces with an abundance of natural light, ranging from massive skylights to a channel glass wall system. The team took extraordinary care to protect these design features throughout the duration of project; due to the requirements of the different type of studios, the team was required to complete a very complex ductwork work system. Additionally, the building is Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) certified and includes decorative fountains on the exterior. Costello Construction was able to complete this $18.5 million project in a mere 17 months while self-performing 20 percent of the construction work including all the site work, concrete foundation, slabs, and a 1,200 foot long underground precast concrete steam tunnel.