At Virginia Commonwealth University, the Academic Learning Commons pushed the envelope of a new learning model, giving one of the nation’s top research universities new tools to educate and inspire.

The project site itself also pushes the envelope; it both borders and blends the University and the historic Richmond neighborhood of the “Fan District”— tree-lined streets, parks, monuments and homes, that were a development of the City beautiful movement, achieving the perfect balance of urban density and common green space.


  • 102,000 SF
  • LEED Gold Certified
  • Collaborative learning environment
  • In association with KSS Architects


  • Best Public Space Award! - GRACRE 2014

A Community of Collaboration and Learning

Understanding that 70 percent of learning extends beyond the classroom, the building’s organization is a balance of formal and informal spaces, woven together. To promote this concept, breakout spaces are entwined throughout the complex to enable impromptu discussion, passionate debate and the vital exchange of ideas—fostering a vibrant atmosphere of student engagement. 
The Academic Learning Commons (ALC) is centrally located near Monroe Park on campus and designed as a four story structure, with a mix of classrooms including a 400-seat lecture hall, a 200-seat tiered classroom, three 150-seat tiered classrooms, and five 80-seat tiered & flexible flat floor classrooms.