As the University developed more property along Broad Street, Shafer Court became a major pedestrian thoroughfare for students. In 1998, we were retained to convert the street into a pedestrian way and public gathering area, creating a safer environment for students by isolating them from vehicular traffic.
Shafer Court is the main pedestrian spine and connects to closed sections of Linden Street creating a continuous pedestrian corridor through campus. Over time, renovations to buildings along this corridor such as Hibbs Hall and the University Student Commons have been designed by HG to be part of a unified pedestrian environment.
HG designed the compass rose and paving pattern that have become focal points of the pedestrian network and iconic of the campus. Over time, “meet me at the compass” has become a familiar call among students and the compass even has its own Facebook page.
The design schedule was a major challenge for this space. HG was brought on to the project two months before construction documents were due. In that timeframe, we prepared a schematic site plan and presented it to the VCU Architectural Review Committee and the state Art and Architecture Review Board followed by construction documents.