Embracing Classicism

Classicism is often dismissed as a viable design option for the present day, but throughout my career I've had the pleasure of working on a number of important historic buildings. Sometimes the best design solution is a traditional solution. The Miller Center of Public Affairs was just such a case. The impressive architecture of this historic home required a respectful interior that felt contextual and also met the needs of the team using this building as a venue for lectures by some of the world's great political minds. If you're a fan of C-Span then you know this beautiful building from the series of televised speeches filmed here. I had the pleasure of being the Principal Designer on three phases of design for this client during my time with Glave & Holmes Architecture, a small regional firm based in Richmond, Virginia. Photography is by Ansel Olson.

The historic Faulkner House, now The Miller Center of Public Affairs at The University of Virginia.

The historic Faulkner House, now The Miller Center of Public Affairs at The University of Virginia.

A difficult space to make into a reception area while maintaining a residential sensibility. I love the Cole & Sons wallpaper and the Audubon pink flamingo.

A difficult space to make into a reception area while maintaining a residential sensibility. I love the Cole & Sons wallpaper and the Audubon pink flamingo.

View of the main dining room, which now serves as a meeting space. Mr. Jefferson presides over all meetings.

View of the main dining room, which now serves as a meeting space. Mr. Jefferson presides over all meetings.

A corner of the dining room.

A corner of the dining room.

A hyphen which serves as a reading room for the adjacent library at the Miller Center.

A hyphen which serves as a reading room for the adjacent library at the Miller Center.

I enjoyed interpreting this reading room as a classic Virginia hyphen room, a connector between the main edifice and the secondary wings. With windows from crown to base on both the north and the south elevations, this room is flooded with light throughout the day. Working with Stark Carpets, Hickory Chair, F. Schumacher, and others I aspired to create a timeless Virginia room.

I enjoyed interpreting this reading room as a classic Virginia hyphen room, a connector between the main edifice and the secondary wings. With windows from crown to base on both the north and the south elevations, this room is flooded with light throughout the day. Working with Stark Carpets, Hickory Chair, F. Schumacher, and others I aspired to create a timeless Virginia room.

Pre-function space in the wing designed by internationally acclaimed architect, Alan Greenberg.  

Pre-function space in the wing designed by internationally acclaimed architect, Alan Greenberg.  

The Axminster wool carpet is inspired by a mid-19th century painting, "The Tea Party" and was made by Brintons Carpets. The "fancy" chairs are based on designs by the famed Baltimore Federal period designers, the Finlay Brothers and we crafted by Kindel Furniture, a company I admire greatly. Carver's Guild provided the mirror. 

The Axminster wool carpet is inspired by a mid-19th century painting, "The Tea Party" and was made by Brintons Carpets. The "fancy" chairs are based on designs by the famed Baltimore Federal period designers, the Finlay Brothers and we crafted by Kindel Furniture, a company I admire greatly. Carver's Guild provided the mirror. 

The Sheraton settee is covered in a vibrant cobalt blue, reproduction of a horsehair fabric by Brunschwig et Fils. The traditional window treatment is in a Scalamandre silk.

The Sheraton settee is covered in a vibrant cobalt blue, reproduction of a horsehair fabric by Brunschwig et Fils. The traditional window treatment is in a Scalamandre silk.

Silk fabric and tassel by Scalamandre Fabrics, one of the great fabric houses for more than a century. 

Silk fabric and tassel by Scalamandre Fabrics, one of the great fabric houses for more than a century.