“The award was given for architecture, not historic preservation,” John G. Waite said. “It was one of the most complex projects in the country.”
Waite said the judges were impressed with the complexity of the construction of the underground room, which was built underneath the Rotunda’s east garden and extended beneath the barrel of the original building. The underground addition contains the building’s mechanical services and acts as a staging area for caterers.
Waite said his firm has been working with the University on Jeffersonian buildings since the 1980s and began working on the historic structures report on the Rotunda in 2006.
In a statement on its website, the institute cited the importance of the project.
“This restoration of the symbolic center of the University of Virginia – widely considered Thomas Jefferson’s single most important architectural achievement – relies on the highest level of historic preservation and building conservation care. Envisioned by Jefferson as a temple for learning, but largely relegated to administrative and ceremonial use, the Rotunda is once again a focus of university life.”