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Greater Richmond ARC

  • Greater Richmond ARC 3600 Saunders Avenue Richmond, VA, 23227 United States (map)

3north was charged with creating a facility for Greater Richmond ARC that would provide a welcoming place for families to connect and share experiences, develop resources, work together on projects, and attend learning seminars, all while inspiring confidence among the organization’s members and their families alike. 

The 26,000 square foot building is an open structure with varying roof heights allowing extensive use of day lighting, suffusing the interior with natural light. At the primary entrance facade, a series of diagonal glass walls symbolically and functionally penetrate the building’s boxy plan, minimizing the distinction between exterior and interior, and providing a welcoming view of the interior.

The large, sky-lit lobby space serves as a “great room” and critical gathering space for ARC members, families, and staff, encouraging meeting, greeting, sharing, and conversation. Throughout the building, the abundant natural daylight creates uplifting and highly functional interior environments in the lunchroom and work production areas (at the north end), and the multi-purpose and open-office space (at the south end). Offices, service areas, and utility spaces are placed along the perimeter, and designed with the flexibility to expand and contract as program demand and activity patterns change over time.

On the long side facade, two porches open out to a sheltered, indoor-outdoor area where clients may congregate under the eaves of the new addition. The expansive, multi-sensory landscape celebrates inclusiveness by catering to all levels of ability and appealing to all the senses. In the “Adult” area, basketball courts, as well as raised and ground-level planting beds, meandering paths, and a pond with trickling water, provide opportunities to participate, contribute, and explore. Children’s activities take place on a multi-purpose playground in the center space. At the front end, an amphitheater crafted of raised, bermed walls around a spiraling walkway, provides a protected, dramatic space those of all ages and abilities to gather.

Earlier Event: May 17
125 S. Colonial
Later Event: September 18
Modern Richmond Week - ChildSavers