Architect for the University of Virginia David J. Neuman has announced plans to resign from his position in October to pursue consulting work. His 11-year tenure at the University has been highlighted by significant planning, new construction and renovation projects, including a $50 million restoration of the iconic Rotunda and Academical Village.
“Serving as architect of the University founded by Thomas Jefferson is an incredible responsibility,” Rector George Keith Martin said. “David Neuman has fulfilled this role with great care. He has demonstrated an ability to balance historic preservation and modern architectural demands. Our Grounds are a better place for it.”
U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan credited Neuman with providing leadership that necessarily accounted for the past and the future.
“As architect for the only American university recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, David led us through a delicate balancing act over the past 11 years preserving and restoring an historic architectural masterpiece while creating the necessary built environment for a modern research university and setting a high standard in our sustainability practices,” Sullivan said. “As we approach the University’s third century, David has helped us develop the essential infrastructure for the pursuit of our core missions in teaching, research, and service, while sustaining our Jeffersonian architectural legacy for generations to come.”
Neuman joined U.Va. in 2003 after serving 14 years as University Architect and Associate Vice Provost for Planning at Stanford University. He previously spent 12 years leading the design and planning at the University of California-Irvine in his role as Campus Architect and Associate Vice Chancellor.
As architect for the University, Neuman has guided land use facilities, historic preservation, and sustainability planning. He established campus and medical center design guidelines and oversees design for all University buildings and grounds, including at the College at Wise, the State Arboretum and other U.Va. sites within the Commonwealth. He has been a University representative to many municipal committees, developing collaborative agreements and mutual projects. He also has served as the U.Va. representative to the Charlottesville Planning Commission during his tenure.
When he arrived on Grounds in 2003, Neuman was entrusted with developing an architectural and campus planning vision for the University, one informed by the historic principles of the Academical Village but also reflecting active engagement in design and construction of an academic community that would serve generations of faculty and students to come.
That vision was manifested in numerous projects and initiatives during his time here. Among them: the South Lawn; the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds; and expansion and renovation of the Medical Center, including the addition of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and expansions of the main hospital building. Neuman also helped invigorate the sustainability efforts on Grounds, which has included LEED certification of new construction and major renovations (28 certified to date and 23 in process) and Board of Visitors’ approval of carbon and nitrogen footprint reduction goals.
“U.Va. is much more than the obvious Jeffersonian legacy,” Neuman said. “Few American universities feature this much history, but also offer Tier 1 research facilities and superior medical centers. Given this unique context, our next architect will have abundant opportunities to make a real difference for the University, the state and the nation.”
Though hundreds of thousands of square feet of space are managed on Grounds, the Academical Village work remains the heart of the architect’s portfolio, with Jefferson’s Rotunda its public face.
As Neuman transitions to a new career stage, work on the $50 million Rotunda restoration has entered a second phase. The overall project will restore the historic features of the Rotunda while modernizing its infrastructure and returning it to its place as a center of student activity and academics. One of Neuman’s most recent contributions was to help launch the Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative, a $225 million restoration and educational campaign that is both a university priority and the first of its kind in U.Va. history, to comprehensively address Jefferson’s Academical Village, including the Rotunda, for the long term.
A fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Neuman holds degrees in liberal arts, architecture and American studies. He is co-author of six books and numerous journal articles, and has been a tireless advocate of U.Va.’s Grounds and facilities for audiences in the Charlottesville community and across the country.
“When I arrived on Grounds more than a decade ago, I was struck by the opportunity the University had before it to preserve and enhance this international treasure of architecture,” he said. “Working with so many talented colleagues in our office and across the University not only to steward these resources, but also to add significantly to them has been a true honor, and something accomplished only through tremendous teamwork.”