University of Virginia
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Architect Thomas Jefferson
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Location Charlottesville, Virginia   map
Date 1826   timeline
Building Type university campus
 Construction System brick
Climate temperate
Context open campus
Style Classical, Neo-Palladian
Notes arcades connect buildings around central lawn. curving brick walls surround campus. Pantheonic rotunda.


Photo, exterior, overview of central green

Photo, exterior, Rotunda building

View from southwest


Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

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Discussion University of Virginia Commentary

"In the project for the University of Virginia, the first state university in the country, Jefferson built the Pantheon, at two-thirds of the scale, at the head of a rising mall flanked by interlinked columnar pavilions. This Rotunda housed the library, while in the pavilions, representing individual disciplines, professors lived and held their classes. Each pavilion demonstrated the correct use of a different Roman order or some variant of it, the campus thus keeping before the students' eyes the full spectrum of Classical design. One pavilion was patterned after Ledoux. There was also in this concept of independent pavilions, formally arrayed in a Neoclassical composition, perhaps something of an analogue for the federal union as Jefferson saw it—self-governing states working together for the common national good"

— Spiro Kostof. A History of Architecture. p625.

Sources on University of Virginia

Robert Adam. Classical Architecture. London: Penguin Books, 1990. ISBN 0-670-82613-8. NA260.A26 1990. elevation drawing, fig b, p37.

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings of library building, p151. — Available at

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. site plan, p197. — A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. geometry diagram, p183. — Updated edition available at

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1841.027. PCD.2260.1012.1841.032

I.T. Frary. Thomas Jefferson, Architect and Builder. Richmond, Virginia: Garret and Massie, 1931. Exterior photo of rotunda building, fXXXIII, p56.

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

Spiro Kostof. A History of Architecture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-19-503472-4. LC 84-25375. NA200.K65 1985. p625.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about University of Virginia


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