McKim, Mead and White designed Rouss Hall in 1898—the new addition to the university’s Lawn was to house classrooms as the student body outgrew Thomas Jefferson’s original “academical village.” The classic structure’s function would change over time, however, and by the turn of the 21st century, it had become an office building for the Economics department.

The university sought to bring the design back to its original classroom configuration, and needed a plan to do so, which also included a new classroom and office wing in the back. The addition would have to nestle into a tight, urban-like site, and the road and pedestrian network criss-crossing the area would also have to be reconfigured to allow better circulation around this end of the Lawn.

We drafted the master plan that articulated how these changes could take place, all the while replicating McKim’s original architecture, which blends seamlessly with Jefferson’s earlier designs. The plan also reinforces the cross-axis of pathways through the Lawn. The university used our documents as the foundation for work that another architecture firm ultimately completed.

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