New T Building at Brightpoint Community College Earns Honor Award from AIA Hampton Roads

Academic and Performing Arts Building at John Tyler Community College, Midlothian, Virginia; Architecture and engineering: Clark Nexsen

The new “T Building” on the Midlothian Campus of Brightpoint Community College (formerly John Tyler Community College) has received a 2017 Honor Award for Architecture from the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The AIA Hampton Roads Design and Honor Awards are a biannual event celebrating design excellence in the work of the Hampton Roads architecture community.

During development of the academic and performing arts facility, Brightpoint realized the importance of the campus environment for community colleges. With the goal of creating a hybrid building for student and community use, architecture and engineering firm, Clark Nexsen, worked with Brightpoint to give a heart to the Midlothian campus. The T Building’s resulting dynamic learning environment supports Brightpoint’s goals and reinforces that they are “not what you’d expect.”

The building program centers on a state-of-the-art black box theater with seating for up to two hundred. The theater presents opportunities for students to train with high end equipment and hosts a variety of performances and events by both by the college and the community. Beyond the theater, the multipurpose academic facility provides space for art, dance, and physical fitness programs as well as classrooms, offices, and study spaces.

The predominant use of glass on the first-floor arcade exterior creates transparency and a welcoming space for students and faculty. The glass exterior also activates that end of the quad, particularly when lit at night.

“It was important to create memorable outdoor spaces for students and visitors,” comments Clark Nexsen architect, Rob Harkey. “The large campus quad, theater patio and rooftop classroom spaces are popular with students and have helped to foster a sense of campus identity.”

Matthew Henning Griffith of In Situ Studio in Raleigh, North Carolina, served as the jury chair with a diverse and talented jury of professionals from across the United States. The awards gala announcing this year’s winners was held October 19 at the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Photographs © Paul Burk