Episode 13

April 19, 2024


Rebroadcast | Future Home of the UVA School of Data Science

Rebroadcast | Future Home of the UVA School of Data Science
UVA Data Points
Rebroadcast | Future Home of the UVA School of Data Science

Apr 19 2024 | 00:37:15


Show Notes

The UVA School of Data Science was formed in September 2019 and has since grown in its collaborations, partnerships, program offerings, and teaching and research personnel. We are now constructing a new facility that will house the School of Data Science at the University of Virginia.

The new building is in the first phase of development and, once complete, will link the University's Central Grounds with the athletic fields and North Grounds. The 60,000-square-foot building is the future home of the UVA School of Data Science and will serve as the gateway to the new Emmet-Ivy Corridor and the Discovery Nexus.

This bonus episode is a conversation between UVA architect Alice Raucher and Mike Taylor, a principal with Hopkins Architects. Both Alice and Mike have been instrumental in the building’s design. Alice has also played a key role in the development of the Ivy Corridor. Mike and Alice take a deep dive into the thought process behind the building’s design, its relationship to the University and its history, the land's unique topography, and its significance to future projects along the Ivy Corridor. 


Hopkins Architects

School of Data Science New Building Website

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Monica Manney Welcome back to UVA data points. I'm your host, Monica Manney. And in today's bonus episode, we're deviating a bit from our central theme. As many of you may know, the UVA School of Data Science was recently formed in September of 2019. And since that time, the school, in collaboration with external partners has been developing, planning and now constructing the facility that will house a school of data science. People who are local to Charlottesville, or those who have recently visited, have likely noticed all the construction at the intersection of Emmet and Ivy. This construction is the first phase in the development of the Ivy corridor. Once completed, this new development will create a link connecting Central and North grounds. And at the entrance of this corridor will be a 60,000 square foot building that is the future home of the UVA School of Data Science. So today, we're bringing you a conversation between Alice Raucher, an architect with UVA, and Mike Taylor, an architect with Hopkins Architects. Both Alice and Mike have been instrumental in the building's design. Alice has also played a key role in the development of the Ivy corridor. In this discussion, Mike and Alice take a deep dive into the thought process behind the building's design. They also discuss the topography of the area, the challenges of adapting to the COVID 19 pandemic, and the significance of the Ivy corridor to the wider UVA and Charlottesville community. Also, a heads up for our data science listeners, Mike and Alice briefly discussed some of the building's ability to capture data, particularly as it relates to sustainability. So we're hoping to see some interesting data science projects once this building opens. And so with that, here's the conversation between Alice and Mike. Alice Raucher I'm Alice Raucher, I'm architect for this incredible university, as you all know, so happy to see you here today in person, we've had a couple of years of just zoom and just meeting outside, you know, hours ago, in person for the first time. So this has been one of the delightful byproducts of of the last two years of pandemic. But let me turn it over to you to introduce yourself. Mike Taylor Well, as you know, I'm Mike Taylor, a principal at Hopkins architects. And we actually knew each other before on another professional project for another very good American University. So we have some history, which is always useful and really positive. And I have led the project for the SDS, new faculty. So we're here today to reminisce, have a chat, and have a conversation that hopefully brings out some of the key things that have developed in the, in the briefing and the concept of the design, and give you a bit of a feel about where we're going to take this project, what it's going to be like, and some of its really sort of salient features. So I guess a good place for us to start is for me to ask you. Why did you choose us for this project? Alice? Alice Raucher Well, that's that's a great question, Mike. And I have to say that, you know, we've had some really amazing projects in the last few years, and we've been very fortunate to have the have had the interest of, of many very good architectural firms over the past couple of years. And this project in particular was very important to us, not only because it was going to be a representation, the built aspect of a brand new school for the university. So it was significant in that aspect. But it was also going to be the cornerstone of the development of an entirely new district, which really was in the vision of the university for quite a long time. And it wasn't until, you know, the last couple of years that it's come to fruition in terms of a design. So, so the selection of the architect was very important. And we had a lot of interest in terms of the qualifications and letters of interest from various firms. And then we narrowed it down. And I would say that Hopkins in particular stood out because of your past work and your approach to you know, not only the history of our place, you know, the history of the institution, the appreciation of the other existing architecture, but also the ability to look forward and think about what a new building for a new district and a new school might be on campus that has so much history to it. Yeah. And so that was the approach to the interview. I mean, number one, you were selected to be shortlisted because of your past work, and your and your described approach. But then during the interview process, it was quite significant that you understood, you know, what it's like to work in historical context and still breathe new life and a fresh approach. And I would say teamed with VMDO architects, our local firm, they do a lot of work for us. They also know us very well, they to you know, have a very good sense about them. But it also seemed that the team was very well orchestrated to understand who was doing what, who was providing the vision who was providing the backup, so made a very strong team and and the choice was very clear for us. Mike Taylor Oh, nice. Yeah, it's interesting. Interesting to hear in hindsight, I mean, I guess it's really great to have a VMDO there as a local knowledge safe pair of hands, because we come in, I mean, almost deliberately not knowing about you. And for us, that's almost a positive on all our projects, we do have a history of kind of technical excellence and innovation and therefore being quite innovative, and contemporary, but we also have a very strong grounding in in context and historic sites. So I guess everything you've just said about your particular project, we'd like to think we can cover those two things. But not knowing about something is quite often an advantage. So we've done velodromes opera houses, children's hospitals, as one offs and all those disciplines have specialists. But sometimes by not being the specialist. And by taking everything apart and thinking forensicly, about what's needed, you can hopefully build back a story with the client with the end user that is more adapted to exactly what's needed and a new look, a fresher look. And hopefully, that's the direction we're going to take this this project in. I guess just it's good to kind of carry on on the on the bigger story about where this fits into your campus. And the particular I mean, it's a real focal point, isn't it? And it's really, it is a really challenging project. Because it's starting a new place, maybe it's good view just to describe about the particular relevance of that site. How come that particular position was chosen and the wider context for the university? Town? Alice Raucher That's, that's a really good point. And if I could just go back for a moment, because I need something you mentioned earlier on about how you and I had had some overlap, you know, at Yale, where Hopkins is, as you know, being the principal did a really beautiful building for Kroon Hall, at Yale, and I was very familiar, having been there seeing that being constructed, understanding that you provided something that will fit into the context into the historical surrounding took a fresh approach, and also was very innovative in terms of the construction typology, the sustainable elements, that it felt absolutely, ike, Yale, even though it was a new vocabulary and new architectural language, and it was that in a way that was very compelling for us that you would, that we would somehow get who we were, and be able to translate that, and that was so important for this district, because, you know, remember this, we didn't know, I mean, we're very fortunate now to have three buildings, you know, on the books, you know, two that are one that's, that's coming out of the ground, one that's going to start in the ground, and then one that's being designed, and maybe a fourth. When this site was selected, it was the landscape plan. And that's it. So the importance of that prominent site to be an entry to the district, as well as you know, be this hub for the school, the community, the university community, and the broader community was was very important. And, you know, I mean, we hit some bumps along the way. I mean, the design process is iterative, right, to to suss out all the, you know, all the issues that that you have to deal with. And, you know, quite frankly, we weren't helped by the fact that as soon as programming was done, we were all sent, you know, to remote work. Right. So we met on a weekly basis, yeah, to do this design work and go back and forth. And there was a, you know, challenge, I would say, and kudos to you and your team, to get the culture of the place, you know, through through the internet was, you know, was a lot I mean, Mike Taylor Strangley, appropriate for a school of data science where you had a lot of data. Alice Raucher True, but you know, it's also a historical campus. Right. So it's a bit of, you know, a bit of a challenge there. But I think we got to an incredible place. And in terms of the site itself, it sets the guidelines or it sets the the benchmark, lack of a better word for the buildings that are coming later, you know, we are working with all the buildings will be different somehow. But there's, there's also a material palette, in connectivity. There's a scale that is significant. And I would say that we think about the fact that like, you noticing this this morning about the importance of landscape we are in a way a landscape first campus. Yeah. Right. And that there's got to be this integration of landscape and architecture. And I think your building does that it it acknowledges the the beauty of the pond, it forms a very civic edge. to the site. And I think it's been very successful that way. Is that somehow how you were thinking about it? Mike Taylor Yeah, I mean, I think is a difficult project. Because I mean, what's happening inside the building is kind of, in architectural terms kind of manageable. It's not particularly unusual. And we can think around that. And we can talk, we can talk a bit about how we've worked around that. What's happening on the outside is quite complicated. But I think because of the historic resonance with the Jeffersonian piece, he put a new piece of campus together, which is, you know, World Heritage Site, and absolutely amazing. And an inspiration to anyone doing any university work anywhere in the world at any time, I would say it's just extraordinary. And so what are we doing, we're doing collectively a new piece a bit like that, adjacent to that and joining North and Central grounds. But it's contemporary, it's not using that classical idiom, it's surrounded by rose a number of challenges. And yet somehow, if you're working here, as an architect, you've got, you've got Jefferson, in the back of your mind, and in the back of your mind also means I don't want to copy that in a lame way that's just not gonna, it's gonna be a pastiche. So, for us, that was always an issue, how do you kind of reference that bit in a way that is, is going to enhance the project and not actually drag it down. And I think in the end, we've probably managed to find a way to do that with the, with the portico at the front, which is very contemporary. But it's also that portico for me is a gesture. And we talked about it a lot. And it we transform that design collectively, enormously. It didn't wait which was interesting. We were sculpting it and and remaking it and replaying it every week for months. But what we've ended up with, I think, works well is to have those five bays facing out as a gesture, about the about the school of dead signs, but also as a welcome to the whole Ivy corridor. And it's sort of public space in that the public can see it. And the public can go in it. It's university space, because it entices people into the other buildings you're going to do. And it's very much a School of Data Science space, because it's their, it's their portico, their entrance. And then I think that what I enjoy about the design, and I'm looking forward to seeing is that play on three dimensionality that takes you from the landscape, through the portico into the building, and then takes you up onto the staircase, which then turns back on itself. So 180 degrees, and then brings you out back under the portico on the front terrace, looking back towards Jefferson and all that fantastic stuff. And so that, for me was a quite a nice way of concluding that sort of reference to take you arriving from Central grounds come in, turn on the stairs as you go up the four floors, and then be looking back from that terrace. So I think, hopefully, we've managed to do something and it integrates external and internal features will resonate physically and symbolically, if you like with the with the historic campus, but it is quite a legacy to have, isn't it? Have? You got to manage it and everything you do? I guess he's seen in the context of that world heritage site. Alice Raucher He's always looking over my shoulder. Mike Taylor Yeah, well, I can't think of anything better to have looking over your shoulder. But yeah, yes. So is it worth is just having a bit of a chat about the inside of the building, and how it's how it kind of came together in three dimensional terms? I mean, how does how does the School of Data Science fit in the pantheon of other I can say that for this in the in the sort of reference of the other schools and projects you have? And what makes it similar? And what makes it different? It's a new school, which is exciting. And interesting to know. Alice Raucher Well, it's true. And I think actually, it's I think it's significant that the School of Data Science with all of its, you know, mission statements, school, you know, School Without Walls, et cetera, and what it does in terms of welcoming you know, all the schools in being very inclusive, reaching out and taking students from every other school to be integrated, you know, in terms of its in terms of its mission and instruction, and how data affects every you know, school in the university and the and how it plays in the major tenants of the President's Emmet/Ivy Tak Force, that the parcel that the whole district was not to be necessarily owned by any particular school, right, that it was supposed to be something that was very inclusive, very diverse, the idea that the community, you know, could have access to this brought the University community and the broader community and the fact that there's the the major stair that goes through the atrium that just does all the things you just described in terms of looking to the future, getting a view back to a Uh, Jefferson's grounds, the idea that there's the opportunity for intermingling and you know, cross conversations along the way that it physically embodies, you know, the, you know, the mission and the, you know, major tenants of both the task force for the district and the school itself, the fact that the hub is on the corner, that will be data science on display for the, for the casual passerby, or that it might be such a, it will be such a great space that it invites everybody in to, you know, have that convening space. So I think this has been a very careful placement of design of where those major public spaces are, you know, the hub, or the corporate commons, to enliven the pedestrian experience. So there's a lot of hope, you know, for the vitality that these buildings will be for the district at large. Mike Taylor Yeah, I mean, you really hope that the energy from this building spills out to the outside. I think it's I mean, it was, it was interesting, because we can have, I guess, educational buildings that are one level, the spaces in them are quite generic, you know, there's teaching spaces as learning spaces as classrooms. And they're fairly universal, aren't they? So what do you do to make this a particular very particular to SDS, and I think the feedback we got from Phil and Arlyn, and everyone involved, which was, you know, really detailed, helped shape how he kit out that the set of parts inside and how he fitted out that building, which did also influence the outside shape, so we put the classrooms on the road side, so you could kind of get those bigger windows, and they could be a presence on that street. Alice Raucher And then active teaching, right, active learning, Mike Taylor on display, right. So the building starts to tell people on the outside what's happening on the inside, well, it's still still works on the inside. And then we had, you know, generally, the more cellular spaces on the outside where you've got individual offices make sense. And you can have ventilation and all the rest of it. And then as you go towards the center of the building, more sociability, and I think it was interesting, working in a pandemic, because we are all so detached from each other. All institutions are asking the question, why do we actually come together at all, because we're all working remotely. And it's sort of even more poignant for a school of data science. But reemphasize that importance of exchange, avoiding too much hibernation, getting people out and getting social contact. And the serendipity of those conversations in research and academia are really important. So the building is highly sociable in the middle of those breakout spaces and gets kind of progressively more quiet and studious as you go towards the perimeter. And that, that that hopefully, will, will work. And this is entrances at both levels on the ground floor, which will lead on to your next kind of building beyond and your corporate comments to balance that the hub on the on the ground floor and the various conference rooms. So I see it as being a very lively building. I sense it's a very lively faculty in terms of the people, I've got real focus and energy, and a real sense of mission, I think, and hopefully that building can become a house at home, where they can be productive, but also very sociable. So Alice Raucher Can I can I come back to a couple of questions about the the portico is one of those, I think great inventions, right? Because it's it's a rather modest program. I mean, it's 60,000 square feet, more or less, which is not one of our largest buildings, but it's a nice size building. But to be at the time, we thought it was gonna be the only building there. Yeah, it had to operate not just, you know, as, as a building unto itself, it had to be a very of a civic scale, to provide this entry to the district. Right. And so the invention of the portico is not only something that harkens back to a language that's familiar to us, but in you know, in contemporary terms, it's a breeze so lay right helps, it has a very sustainable attribute to it. He was some of the... Mike Taylor well, I mean, you can see about that, because yeah, definitely, you can see this building from a long way away. So you know, floor to floor to floor heights and regular, you know, that kind of normal for a modern contemporary building. So how do you make a bigger scale gesture on the outside, so when you look from far away, you're not just looking at four floors of standard floor height, and the portico is a way of doing that, which gives you four floors, you know, and the roof height, and gives a sense of scale with these five bays. And with modern slats and louvers on the top gives you shading, so it will be Yeah, it's a threshold and it's a symbolic entrance, which you can see from from a distance. And then we have one or two mannequin games on the outside, didn't we will we pull the eyebrow piece out and responded to the shape of the road just to kind of break on otherwise had been a very rectangular building. So I think sculpturally it's quite modest. I think in terms of sustainability. We made some good collective decisions early on, which is that the building should would be the right size, we should make it work really hard inside. So we have efficient, really efficient, because you know, the story on sustainability isn't just energy in use, it's embodied carbon in construction. So we have no basement, the plant rooms are really small. As you know, we've squeezed down all the service stones in the ceilings to the absolute minimum, which has taken enormous amount of work from the team to fit everything in. But if you're lazy, and you don't do that, and everything gets taller, you've got more space to heat, more space to build more to pay for and more carbon in the construction. So making everything work really hard is something we like, and it's satisfying, and it's good. And when you go inside the building, what you'll find is, it's it's a pretty honest expression of construction, you'll see the steel and the columns. And we've kept a lot of effort, therefore into how it's all jointed and detailed, because you're looking at the real thing. There, there isn't a lot of covering on things, because that's all materials is all carbon is not what we should be doing. We've got the right amount of acoustic absorption. And we use that to cover the services, we got some lovely timber slats on the ceilings for acoustics. And then we use the materials kind of very sparingly on the inside in a way that responds to the use. So we've got a carpet everywhere, which is good for absorbing sound. But when you come in, there's a lovely Terrazza. And that will take you up the stairs. And then there's areas of sort of wooden flooring to break out in the hub and corporate commons etc. So I think it's not a massive building. It's not a small building, but I think it will, it will have a lot of energy inside it and contrast and interest. So I think I'm hoping it's a good marriage, because the more I know about the department, and they're kind of what the people are like, and what the architecture is like. Alice Raucher And it sits in a district that, you know, has sustainable goals, you know, unto itself. Right. I mean, the fact that it's overlooking this stormwater pond, right, that, that the district itself collects all the stormwater for all the buildings that will be, you know, surrounding it, and that the district itself is a working landscape. Right. So what we're saying about this development to the entire district, from the landscape, to the buildings that go on it are that we are, you know, very conscious of our carbon footprint, and and the development of not, you know, I mean, we're in a low lying area. It's one of the lowest elevations on grounds and the fact that we have to deal with water, we've turned it into an amenity. Yeah. All right. So I think the fact that the building takes advantage of that, that it looks to those areas have been one of my favorite, and I can't wait to see this, you know, as it gets constructed. But there's, there's there's the analogy of this stair that you discussed before being the internal landscape of the building, right, where we are on the Ivy corridor is relatively flat, or we've made a little flatter, but that the topography all around grounds is pretty unique in a way you've you've reconstructed that on the inside with various lookouts to, you know, I mean, every time you you come to a landing, there's a beautiful window and a beautiful vista out to the landscape. And that's really important for us, that there's this integration between the architecture and the landscape. Mike Taylor I think the it is the most impressive thing about your campus outside the individual architecture is the topography, which is just gently unfolding everywhere. I can't see anywhere that is particularly Alice Raucher on the Piedmont, of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mike Taylor Right. And then these enormous trees everywhere. So there's this this is vertical greenery you see everywhere. And I think that is fascinating. And I think when you get the DuMont junks landscape in the corridor around the water, it will be another place for students and staff faculty to hang out. And it's interesting, how much do you think that this building, having started as block number one has then been referenced all inspire or lobby connections to the subsequent buildings that you're planning now? Alice Raucher Quite a lot, right. I mean, we are trying to because we know that least the hotel and conference center being developed at the same time, we're trying to make sure this coordination, right, we weren't interested in having, you know, like, like the lawn has a continuity designed all at once. And then constructed over time. The idea of the Emmet/Ivy corridor was much more of a city block, right, but that it needed to feel like UVA, it needs to feel like the architectures that be designed guidelines so that the selection of the brick or the way you weigh the building meets the ground or the treatment of the windows is acknowledged. It's not replicated, necessarily, but it's acknowledged in future buildings. Mike Taylor Yeah. So another another interesting aspect about this project for me is that it's a it's a new discipline and a new faculty. And it's kind of quite, it's quite outward facing in terms of industry and it's almost like a shared resource you were saying before. I'm hoping it'll work but as a member of the public or a captain of industry, or someone coming here that wants to do business or you know, join in I'll do a TED talk in the hub. Hopefully the building in that location. Very prominently visible with the new corridor will be a sort of open invitation. And universities are academic, but they need to speak to industry, don't they for for all sorts of reasons. Hopefully, you see that working well? Alice Raucher Oh, absolutely. And I think I think the prominence of the site that you mentioned before, speaks to the importance that we put on the school day of science and the importance of data, you know, in our, in our day and age, in particular, that that sets up as the head building, you know, and yes, because it is so prominent, because it's off of one of what is going to be another major civic exterior space with the amphitheater around the pond is going to absolutely invite industry to participate, it's just gonna be a lovely place to be. Yeah. And I think the idea that the Emmet/Ivy corridor in particular, is supposed to be a mix of uses, right and be open to a lot of different people that there's the school of data science, there's a Hotel and Conference Center, which will invite a range of, you know, scholars and guests from across the country, hopefully, around the world, you know, to participate in then you're there on the site, the fact that we will have an Institute for Democracy, adjacent to that, you know, within, you know, stone's throw of school of data science, and hopefully, a center for the arts, right adjacent to it, that it's not just one discipline in the district. There's a lot of different subjects that can be explored. And hopefully, there will be integration of the programs that that go through all of these buildings that will make the place and the building even livelier. Mike Taylor Yeah, no, that makes it. So when you contextualize it like that, in terms of all the other subject matter on that on that new new piece of ground that makes it seem really exciting. I guess, it's quite interesting. When you've we've kind of finished designing it, we're building it now, aren't we? Which is looking exciting, Alice Raucher Ever finish design really? Mike Taylor Where you kind of go right, and then want to change? To being honest. But that's a good well, we've, we have finished? Yeah, we have, I think we're in a good place. It's interesting to go back, though, and to kind of think, what did it turn out like you're expecting, you know, and just sort of reminisce about, I always have a thing on a project, which is because people always telling you the ideas and things like that. And we are, we'd like to think we're open to listening to that. But as an artist, that you have to be a filter. If I didn't drink at the end of a job, I took everyone's bad ideas and put them together, it'd be absolutely terrible. But hopefully, we capture the good ones. I mean, I think for me, we started out and it was a kind of kit of parts, it was very, in our minds, perhaps sort of factory like Andy Warhol, rather than, and it was a School Without Walls. But I think it's probably come become a bit more conventional in through the process of understanding what people need to do to work. And that is have some walls, good fences make good neighbors? It's I think it's of interest, get your take on that, Alice, but, you know, how did it work out compared to your kind of your vision of how it might have looked at the very start? Alice Raucher Well, I you know, so I think that we probably took the, the analogy of a school without walls a little too, literally probably in the beginning, right, we saw the opportunity there. And then I think you're right people, you know, need privacy and need to have some boundaries in order to do that. So I think we've hit a healthy compromise between those spaces and the workspaces in the building that will enable easy collaboration, the hub certainly is a place where people are going to come together in the student, the student reading room up on the fourth floor adjacent to the terrace, you know, roof terrace is going to be one of the places where maybe won't be maybe be a little bit quieter. But certainly it's a place for people to come together, balanced against, you know, pretty modest offices for the faculty, because you do need to go and be able to shut the door and do your thing. So I think it's made great strides in terms of what we do, what we have done, you know, on grounds in other academic buildings, it's probably hasn't pushed that envelope in terms of having all collaborative space the way we initially started it. But, you know, that's, that's, again, the process, right? We make incremental moves, Mike Taylor I think, I mean, every office project, we do has that same discussion, how much closure we work in, open plan glass boxes, we are an architect studio without walls, it is problematic. And when we can't have any confidential meetings without going to another building, we've had to subsequently build interest. And then we have another kind of concrete box where a lot of nasty things happen, like modelmaking and servers. So you have to be practical. Alice Raucher Well, the other thing to have learned, you know, is that, you know, we come back, you know, my offices back in intact, but we haven't given up zoom calls. Right. And so it's impossible to have different zoom calls when you're open office. Yeah, Mike Taylor right. Yeah. The hybrid meeting acoustic problem has yet to be seen. Exactly. Alice Raucher And so and so there's, I think a way that we're, you know, a inching towards which is you know, there are spaces that can be on a Hotelling program where you have private offices, you can sign things out, but that the majority of your work is done in open collaborative space. Mike Taylor Yeah, one thing that just occurs to me with this building is the kind of the extra elevation, which is like the roof scape if you like, and because once you go up Ivy road, you get almost to roof level. So as you as you come back down, you're literally looking across the height of the building. And we have got PVs on the roof, which is part of the sustainability story, the vortex right, although I say PV, photovoltaic, so general, yeah, which will generate a bit of electricity and seeing how sunny it is here, more than you would generate in London, which is good. And we, you know, we have good citizen measures inside the building for limiting energy use, you know, the usual LED lights, movement centers, all that, all that good stuff. So it's doing its bit where we can, but also on the roof level, we've got a green roof that comes around the site. So I think it's a building that is going to be looked at almost almost some about when you look at the topography around, Alice Raucher Certainly from you know, central grounds. You know, as I mentioned, I took a tour of the construction site of the Aldermen edition, and that from that reading room, you can look straight out at data science, which is pretty incredible. Yeah. So that which made me think of something elaborate a little bit more on the operable windows that we have. Mike Taylor Okay. Yeah. So it's always an issue when you have a building in a climate like this, you know, can you have natural ventilation or not? And the honest answer is, it's very difficult to have that you've got shoulder seasons when you can, and you've got other times when it's too humid or too cold. So the real answer is to have your mechanical systems running in an efficient way. And we've got them very highly zoned in this building. So you're not running everything all at once. And on the on the ground floor, we've got, you know, heated floors and things like that. So quite sophisticated. But in the individual rooms, it's gonna be very nice to have windows that you can open and control your own environment. And we have those and we've got some interesting materials, you'll see as the building goes out where we're using a kind of oak Lux product, which is like a sort of almost translucent insulation in the panels. And we've got glass panels. And as you know, we spent quite a lot of time looking at those elevations, which at one level, or glass, white brick, all were kind of hallmarks of this university. But we've kind of played with them in a different way on the different elevations. So the to the east, you've got the portico and some big windows and like a boardroom conference room at ground floor on the hub and the main entrance, which is double high. And then on the south on to Ivy Road, you've got the big classrooms, which are south facing behind louvers to keep them shaded. And then on the west, you've got a new building coming behind it at some point. So we have a small kind of reentrant portico on there, just to one floor height made out of the brick. And then on the north elevation overlooking the corridor, we've gone for a much more kind of contemporary arrangement of windows where we've got some double double height bays, and we've got a kind of syncopated rhythm as what we ended up calling it where we've tried to express if you like the nature of the can contemporary architecture, and we're free, we can do what we want, we can move windows around, we're not building it in the old way. So we've got something which is in a respectful brick box at one level foursquare. But we have had some fun moving the windows around giving it some energy and expressing on the outside, partly what physically is happening on the inside the position of windows and rooms, that gets expressed on the outside. But it also is a pattern. It's a design, and hopefully something interesting, Alice Raucher And the building will look very, very different from day to evening, day to dusk to evening and I think will be very transparent during the day and very welcoming and be a beacon in the evening. And that was also one of the critical factors that the hub and the double height windows are facing, you know, facing east shaded by the portico and the breezsalay but that would would signify a real beacon for the district. So let me ask you a question that I know I have my answer for but it's always a question that I you know, ask or that comes up when developing a new building. Tell me about your feelings about brick. And the idea that maybe it was a given that we are going to use brick on this building. Mike Taylor I mean, I love bricks. We absolutely love bricks at Hopkins and we've built some some very nice brick buildings on the environmental side it's actually slightly harder to justify using bricks now than it was before. I mean not because they don't last but because there's quite a lot of carbon in firing them so you've got to really justify using them and I think on this building is a long life loose fit building. And so the inside is interchangeable there's still a bit flexible if you decide to, if Phil decides he doesn't want any walls he can take them down on the outside it needs to last and so we've we've got brick is incredibly robust is one of the very, very few materials that looks better over time, which is good to know. So I think that's good, I think where we would feel a bit uneasy. will be if we felt we were sort of ended up using it in too much of a kind of reworking of a historic building. And that would leave us a bit difficult because architecture is pretty contemporary. And I think for me, at the end of it all, I've really focused in on all those challenges of internal activities, space, all of those things. I like to think the building, if you took the building off that site and put it somewhere else, it would have no meaning whatsoever, no sense. And I think we've probably got to that point, it's very carefully crafted to that location is completely different from what we did at Yale, or Princeton, or Harvard, or Oxford or Cambridge. And for me, it my ambition at the start on our offices, ambition will be that This building belongs to you, and to the school. And hopefully, I think we've tailored it to do that. And let's, let's, let's hope so, Alice Raucher I think you've got it right. You know, I usually say that the material is not going to prescribe the language of the architecture necessarily, but when I get sometimes I roll so it doesn't have to be brick, you know, you scratch the surface here and you get red clay. Yeah, right. Okay. It is of the place. Yeah. And so there's something beautiful about, you know, a building that looks like it's, it's come up of the place and that and that idea that it belongs to us. It's not only about just the materiality, but it's what you've done in terms of the proportion, about the orientation of the windows, et cetera, et cetera, that that I agree with you it does, you couldn't move it from the site, and it is going to feel like a UVA building. Mike Taylor Let's hope so. Nice talking to you. Same here. Thank you Mike. Monica Manney Thanks for checking out this week's episode. We'll be back on November 1st with a conversation within the area of systems. If you'd like more information about the future home of the School of Data Science, visit our website, datascience.virginia.edu. There you can find articles, photos, media, and renderings of the future building. We'll link to this, as well as the Hopkins Architects website, in the show notes. As always, if you'd like to contact us, send us an email at [email protected]. We'll see you next time.

Other Episodes