Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway|
Spectrum Design, P.C.
10 Church Avenue SE, Plaza Suite 1, Roanoke, VA 24011
Location: Abingdon, Virginia
June 2009 Construction Period: Aug 2009 to July
Total Square Feet: 30,000 Site: 8 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: Basement, 12,700; first floor, 17,300; total,
30,000 square feet.
Building Height: Basement, 14’; First floor, 33’; total, 35’.
Basic Construction Type: New/II B.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtain wall, metal panel. Roof:
Membrane, metal. Floors: Concrete, wood.
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.
General Contractor: MB Contractors , Inc - 3825 Blue Ridge Drive,
Roanoke, VA 24018
Mechanical, Electrical Engineer & Cost Estimator: Spectrum
Design, P.C. - 10 Church Avenue SE, Plaza Suite 1, Roanoke, VA 24011
Located in historic Abingdon, Virginia, "Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's
Artisan Gateway" is a true testament to the power of community and
collaboration. Developed from a vision to showcase southwest Virginia's
unique artisan culture, Heartwood fulfills its mission by providing a
destination for artisans and tourists alike to explore this beautiful,
vibrant part of Virginia. In 2007 Spectrum Design was commissioned to
bring the community's vision to realization with a building that would
promote Southwest Virginia's local artisans and showcase the Southwest
The formal qualities of the building were inspired by the vernacular
farm buildings of Southwest Virginia that are indicative of the region.
Abstracted traditional forms are combined with unexpected materials
providing a juxtaposition of familiar shapes and modern construction.
The predominant form-maker is a square module based on the section of a
traditional gambrel roof form. The module was rotated and mirrored,
providing the organizational plan for the main level. The rotation of
the module allows for a multitude of views and captures light from
different directions in each of the galleries.
Sited on a prominent perch above Interstate 81 on the Virginia Highlands
Community College campus, the building engages visitors from all
directions. The south face of the building is easily spotted from the
highway and takes advantage of the spectacular views of Whitetop
Mountain and Mount Rogers - the highest peak in Virginia's Appalachian
Mountains. The north face of the building features a precast concrete
and glass block silo that marks the entry to the building. With a
glistening facade during the day and glowing lantern at night, the silo
is the beacon that draws visitors to the main entrance. As visitors
enter the facility they are able to flow easily to gallery spaces or
through the main lobby and octagonal performance space to one of the
many outdoor spaces.
The two-level facility houses five 1,000 square foot galleries that form
the wings of the main level. The gallery spaces feature continuous glass
walls that provide a connection between interior and exterior exhibits
as well as the flexibility to combine galleries for large exhibits.
Galleries are provided with computers that display electronic portfolios
for each artisan, complete with contact information and driving
directions to their studios. The center of the facility features a
performance area under an octagonal structure. Featuring a chandelier
created by a local artisan, this space allows for large gatherings. The
adjacent outdoor plaza gives the performance area a beautiful
mountainous backdrop as well as overflow space. The main level also
includes a commercial sales space for artisan work, a kitchen facility
and café featuring locally grown cuisine.
The lower level of the building houses approximately 2,000 square feet
of storage space and administrative offices, as well as a freight
elevator and loading dock.
Creating an environmentally sensitive building was an integral part of
the design process. Spectrum felt that it was imperative to protect the
natural beauty that the building is showcasing. Heartwood is LEED®
certified with the U.S. Green Building Council. The building features a
closed loop geothermal well HVAC system, low VOC materials, low flow and
waterless plumbing fixtures, and an abundance of daylighting.
Additionally, a filtering system collects and recycles rainwater for
toilet flushing and irrigation. The landscape design features native and
indigenous plants and includes a chef's garden and collaborative
plantings with student horticulturists.
Completed in 2011, Heartwood is the product of a remarkable community
vision. It is a destination, but also an introduction to the rich
cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia. Designed to be an integral part
of its community and surrounding landscape, the building proudly stands
as a gateway to all that the region has to offer.
Building Envelope: IMETCO
Roofing: Firestone, Uniclad
Windows, Curtain Wall, Entrances & Storefronts, Daylighting/Skylights: