Hill Studio News

Landscape Architecture and Architecture

Architects, landscape architects, and planners are developing a Master Plan and Design Guidelines for a sustainable new town in Buchanan County, Virginia on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine. The site consists of approximately 3,500 acres. Phase I of the project includes gateway entrances, a new government and commercial center, a variety of housing types, and trail system. The plan incorporates renewable energy resources and green building techniques.

Landscape architects are working on the new Bioinformatics Technology Building and Grounds at Virginia Tech.

Architects are continuing to work on a new residential development at River's Edge in Alleghany County adjacent to the Jackson River, a favorite fly-fishing venue. Two housing prototypes that use natural building materials in the region are under construction.

Planning

The Planning Studio recently completed the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Radford, Virginia. The plan focuses on enhancing the green infrastructure within the City and connecting neighborhoods, schools, and economic activity centers to the historic New River. An exciting element proposes new infill development and investment opportunities along West Main Street to enhance economic development and expand areas for business and mixed-use development.

Hill Studio Planners are currently working on a Comprehensive Plan for Mathews County, Virginia, a coastal county with a water-based economy and a long history of shipbuilding. Planners are working with the Planning Commission and an appointed Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee representing five County districts. Key elements of the updated plan are environmental protection and economic development.

We also are updating the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of South Boston, Virginia. This Southside Virginia community of approximately 10,000 persons reverted from a city to a town in 1995. Current issues facing the community include housing, economic development, infrastructure improvements, and management of vacant land for future development. A design charrette is planned for February 2009 to address redevelopment of an entrance corridor over the Dan River, and revitalization of two downtown areas for infill development and building rehabilitation.

Historic Preservation

The Historic Preservation Studio recently completed a 350-property Historic Building Survey for Botetourt County, Virginia. Architectural historians surveyed the County's 548 square miles and documented buildings over fifty years of age which included houses, commercial buildings, schools, stores, barns and agricultural outbuildings. The survey was a cost-share project funded by the County and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Architectural historians are currently working on a 450-property Historic Building Survey for Henry County, Virginia. The County consists of 384 square miles. This project is being funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Preservation Studio continues to work on several historic tax credit projects. One interesting project involves the conversion of a 1919 Cotton Mill in Roanoke, Virginia for 100+ apartments and live/work space.