New 12-Story Gladding Residence Center Opens at Virginia Commonwealth University

Gladding Residence Center opened in mid-August 2018 for the fall semester at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. A first for the university, the residence hall is the result of a public-private-partnership between VCU and private developer, American Campus Communities. Under the P-3 agreement, VCU owns the land but ACC paid construction costs and owns the new residence hall for 50 years. VCU will assume ownership of the building when that agreement expires.

Designed to help students connect, the 365,000-square-foot complex features an abundance of community spaces. From the street, an expansive entry opens into a light-filled two-story lobby. This common area features a fireplace and many comfortable seating options to hang out or take a break to play air hockey, foosball, or basketball arcade hoops. A 24/7 fitness center, administrative offices, and building support space are also housed on the ground floor.

GRC was built to house more than 1,500 first year students in traditional double bedrooms and 4-person semi-suites. The complex is subdivided into 6 neighborhoods of approximately 125-200 students. These neighborhoods provide an intimate community with their own shared kitchens, laundry facilities, study areas and lounges that promote student interaction.

The complex features VCU’s first gender-neutral community bathrooms. Bathrooms on each floor have a shared public vanity area and private individual toilet and shower stalls with floor to ceiling doors that give the occupant complete privacy.

The GRC complex takes up the entire block between Main and Cary streets and Laurel and Pine streets on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus. The project preserves an architecturally and locally significant portion of a Bath House built in 1912, part of the student housing demolished for this project, repurposed for communal activity space.

Project Team
Clark Nexsen: Architect/Engineer of Record; architecture, civil, fire protection, MEP and structural
Ayers Saint Gross: Design Architect
Sixthriver: Interior design
W.M. Jordan: Construction manager at risk

Video by Max Schlickenmeyer, VCU Marketing