Commonwealth Architects

Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary

Buckingham County, VA
Size: 173,000 sf
Services: ArchitectureInterior ArchitecturePlanning

Commonwealth Architects worked on the design of a new seminary campus for the Society of Saint Pius X outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. The seminary is currently located in Minnesota and has out-grown its existing facilities. It will relocate to Buckingham County on a peaceful, 1,000 acre rural parcel overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The new campus design included classrooms, dormitory, chapel, library, dining facility and administrative offices to accommodate 120 seminarians and 12 faculty members. The architectural language of the seminary was base d on 12th Century French monasteries such as Cluny and Silvacane Abbey. Cloisters would be used within the dormitory and classroom areas, providing enclosed courtyards surrounded by aisles on all four sides. The cloister aisles would serve as the passages between the church, the dormitory and other parts of the seminary. Special emphasis was placed on making the seminary as self-sustaining as possible by the use of geothermal heating/cooling, operable windows, and the use of natural materials.

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