To accommodate expanded needs for 21st century education and improved student life, QEA repurposed and expanded this historic residential hall into a modern classroom building and student services center.

The artfully composed solution reorients the building to face the main entrance and serve as an inviting entry into the Mount Vernon campus. The design complements the traditional context of the campus with a contemporary vocabulary. The program accommodates an array of academic classrooms and lecture halls as well as break-out spaces and lounges for individual and group study and collaborative learning. Renovation and expansion work transformed this building into a high-performance environment which is central to the academic community.

Details

  • Renovation provides new gateway to Mount Vernon campus
  • 15,000 sf renovation and 40,000 sf addition
  • Designed in 1956 by architect Arthur P. Davis
  • LEED Gold Certification
“I envision an ever-increasing level of intellectual energy that will now come here with the students and faculty interacting, and much of that will happen right here in Ames Hall.”

Dr. Steven Lerman, Provost, George Washington University

Building Campus Life 

Today, Ames Hall is a vibrant hub of student life and a point of pride – providing a mix of educational and social experiences. Leveraging its prominent hilltop location, Ames is a campus beacon. The building is an important crossroads and thoroughfare that connects the steeply sloping campus site on four separate levels. Inside, a light-filled gallery with a grand stair provides orientation and social space at the heart of the building. A gourmet café on the main level is a constant source of traffic and activity in the building. Informal gathering spaces serve as “skyboxes” and an outdoor paved patio overlook the adjacent NCAA softball field.

Equipped for Learning 

In the expansion of academic offerings at the Mount Vernon Campus, Ames is programmed to house two academic departments and an interdisciplinary faculty research center. The building features state-of-the-art classrooms, study lounges, and a two-level lecture hall that has tiered seating for 125 students. All are equipped with learning technologies – from LCD projectors and ceiling mounted cameras to interactive whiteboards and touch screen controls.

© Ron Blunt Photography

The design solutions worked to compose an addition that complements the existing architecture as well as the surrounding campus in style, scale, and massing.  
© Ron Blunt Photography

Crafting Contextual Solutions

The project had inherent challenges such as working within the tight and steeply sloping site confines. Sensitively expanding an historic building from 15,000SF to 40,000SF, required a very deft hand. The design solutions worked to compose an addition that complements the existing architecture as well as the surrounding campus in style, scale, and massing. Ames Hall was revitalized with contemporary systems and technologies that are threaded through the existing structure. A central gallery space unifies and connects old and new at the heart of the building.