VCU hires internationally recognized architectural firm to develop master site plan

VCU hires internationally recognized architectural firm to develop master site plan

Virginia Commonwealth University today announced the hiring of Ayers Saint Gross, an internationally recognized architectural, planning and design firm, to coordinate the development of a new comprehensive VCU master site plan.

University leaders received an update on the VCU master site plan process during today’s Board of Visitors meeting.

“The master plan will reinforce the concept of one VCU by providing a cohesive blueprint for the future development of the Monroe Park and MCV campuses,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “We will develop a collaborative, evidence-based master site plan to create high-quality, innovative and accessible spaces at VCU.”

Ayers Saint Gross will be paid $1,013,000 to develop and manage the master planning process, which will continue through the end of 2018. The firm specializes in master plans and building designs for higher education institutions, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The firm has worked with VCU on multiple projects over the past decade, including a campus space analysis, the Gladding Residence Center project and a student affairs master plan.

“This is an important opportunity for VCU to align its physical resources and assess future needs in a master plan that will be developed to reach strategic objectives,” said Meredith Weiss, Ph.D., vice president for administration. “We are looking forward to engaging with the community to get input and feedback, which will help to shape the university’s physical development over the next decade.”

VCU and Richmond community members will have the opportunity to become part of the planning process. A pair of public town halls will kick off the process in mid-October, and the latest plan updates will be available at The relationship between the campus and city of Richmond will be an important piece of the plan, which will also support VCU’s new strategic plan.  

“Ayers Saint Gross is thrilled to continue our relationship with VCU to help define the bright future of this wonderful institution,” said Kevin Petersen, AIA-Principal, Ayers Saint Gross. “We know that the VCU community will be invested and engaged throughout the master planning process, and we are excited for the ideas and outcomes of the master site plan.” 

The most recent updates to the VCU master site plan took place in 2004 and 2013.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Tappahannock Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit and

About Ayers Saint Gross

Ayers Saint Gross, an employee-owned firm, provides multi-disciplinary design services to mission-driven institutions including higher educational clients across the world. The firm is organized around specialized areas of expertise in architecture, planning, space analytics, landscape architecture and graphic design to create high-impact environments that engage and enrich the world. For more, please visit