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Virginia Military Institute – Cocke & Cormack Halls and Memorial Garden

Virginia Military Institute – Cocke & Cormack Halls and Memorial Garden

HG Design Studio aligned with design partner Baskervill at Virginia Military Institute, a National Historic Landmark District in in the heart of Lexington, Virginia. Part of the project included restoration of the Memorial Garden and design of a new and complex focal point for the notable Memorial Garden, located adjacent to Cocke Hall, and where alumni who have lost their lives in battle are memorialized. The Memorial Arch is also an emblem to honor graduates who have served their country, and HG had the privilege of designing it into the historic landscape and context.

With the addition of the Memorial Arch and surrounding garden, balance and scale were of utmost consideration. Design of the new focal point Arch incorporated connection to the central green, and poised in symmetry at the garden’s opposite end, the statue “Spirit of Youth” in marble. The design created a delicate reconciliation of old and new features, integrating the adjoining meditative space.

The design process included research of previous plans, historical photographs, and written history. Previous iterations of the garden and the overall aesthetic of VMI were taken into account to produce an overall landscape plan for the Memorial Garden and design for the Memorial Arch and surrounding area.

For the renovation of Cormack Hall, HG Design Studio developed hardscape improvements, a landscape planting plan based on the school’s established planting preferences, and details for the building entrances and stairs. We designed planting to complement the historic building and the existing campus character, and created a truck access route of grass pavers to help it blend in to this elegant campus. HG followed the requirements for submission to BCOM and maximized LEED points to assist the architect in meeting the Institute’s environmental goals.

LOCATION: Lexington, VA
CLIENT: Virginia Military Institute
ARCHITECT: Baskervill
DATES: Start: 2012, Completion: 2016
DISCIPLINES: Site Design. Landscape Architecture
TEAM: David Gerstenmaier, PLA


Cocke & Cormack Halls, Landscape Architecture, Memorial Gardens, Site Design, Virginia Military Insitute, VMI