Garrett Hall was designed by McKim, Mead, and White and constructed in 1908 to serve as the University of Virginia’s first large dining facility. Originally know as the Refectory, the building is part of an ensemble of Classical Revival style buildings added to the southern end of the Academical Village between 1898 and 1908. The Garrett Hall precinct is bordered by McCormick Road and The Lawn, and overlooks the McIntire Amphitheater. A precinct study was undertaken in 2000 including site analysis of existing and planned infrastructure, access, and circulation supporting the preparation of a concept plan incorporating improvements identified by the University, phasing alternatives, and cost estimates for the study area. Integrating accessibility and service access into the design was a major objective of the planning effort.
In 2011, Garrett Hall and its landscape were rehabilitated to house the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. The project scope of work focused on maintaining the historic integrity of the interior and exterior of the building and incorporating sustainable design concepts in order to attain LEED certification. Landscape architectural services addressed the rehabilitation of the site’s circulation systems and plantings, including plans for the addition of a new roof garden on the Garrett Hall Annex, new bike parking, and new seating.
RMLA principal Rob McGinnis served as the principal-in-charge of OCULUS’s precinct study and later served as the project director for landscape architectural services for the rehabilitation project while with EDAW/AECOM.