Model Exploration

Our part time intern, Olivia, currently studying at The University of Virginia, recently did an intense  two week model exploration in studio. Her Professor, Matthew Jull of OMA, created his studio entitled “The End of the World as We Know it”, focusing on creating buildings for uncertainty or more precisely the up coming Apocalypse on December 21st. Their first project was to pick 5 words that embodied uncertainty like hoarding, defence, or protection. For each word the students had to create 3 models describing each word.

NSU // Brown Hall

WPA and Dills Architects teamed up to pursue the new Brown Hall Math and Mass Communications Building at Norfolk State University and we found out yesterday that we were selected to do the job! We are honored to be awarded this important project and can’t wait to get to work with Dills and our other amazing consultants: Speight, Marshall & Francis, P.C.; Pace Collaborative; Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB); the Sextant Group, Inc.; G E T Solutions, Inc.; Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC; Forella Group, LLC; and Setty & Associates, Ltd. Go team!

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NSU // Wayfinding

In coordination with the Norfolk State University Master Plan of 2010, the Wayfinding Program is underway to create a welcoming, accessible and navigable campus. WPA is partnering with SWAY Creative Labs to design the new signage for the campus, which will not only serve off campus traffic, but create recognizable gateways for the first time visitor, allow easy vehicular navigation around the campus perimeter and focus on pedestrian access in the core. This is an exciting opportunity to unify the graphic representation of NSU and create clear, concise signage for all, students and visitors alike.

Below are some recent images of existing campus signage.



NSU // Greenhouse

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Norfolk State University will be building a 1500 square foot greenhouse on campus. WPA is teaming up with Rough Brothers to design and build this sustainable structure. The greenhouse will be in a courtyard with directed paths for students to engage and explore the local plant life. We’ve found some great precedent images and are really excited to work alongside of Rough Bros!

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Jay Ford, of Shine and Rise Farms, was kind enough to bring his two baby goats by the WPA office, to the delight of everyone around. Sonny and Judy entertained the WPA staff, other tenants in the Monticello Arcade, and passersby on the street. This is why we love downtown!

Baby goats by the window

See more pictures below.

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Monticello Place – Version 4

A.Dodsons Elevation






The Monticello Place project continues! Based on responses to the original studies for this property, the Downtown Norfolk Council asked WPA to come up with a design for one tenant to occupy the entire ground floor and the basement. Individual vendor stalls line the storefront windows along Monticello Place providing an ever-changing scene for pedestrians walking by on this soon-to-be very active street that connects MacArthur Center mall with Granby Street and the future Urban Outfitters.


Interior view of individual vendor stalls






The basement becomes a multi-purpose space with stadium seating, retail areas, a performance space, and storage.








The design livens up the corner of Monticello and Market making for a more inviting conduit between the two main shopping areas in downtown. Decorative elements climb the exterior walls drawing the eyes of eager customers to the new entrance.


The PLOT – Containers in Downtown!

Containers for the PLOT being delivered








The PLOT construction is well underway now that the containers have arrived and been erected on site. Many thanks to Maersk Lines for coming through with some beautiful containers for this project! This was a critical first step so that the site work can get underway. It was an exciting three days of hoisting, welding, and filling the containers to be sure they are in a stable position. In addition to being an abstraction of the tower that we hope to see built on this site in the near future, these upright containers will serve as a visual anchor for the corner of the PLOT as well as the mounting location for much of the signage telling passersby that this is a place for them and how it came to be that way. Now that the containers are out of the way, the rest of the site is being graded, sawn, excavated, and replanted. There should be some great volunteer opportunities to build benches, paint planters, and plant plants starting at the beginning of May.


View of the containers from the Main St. Garage










400 Granby Street  Suite 301 Norfolk, VA 23510 Studio: (757) 227-5310

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400 Granby Street
Suite 301
Norfolk, VA 23510
(757) 227-5310
Website Maintained By