The Cameron Foundation in Petersburg, Virginia, is a private non-profit organization which provides grants to other non-profits and special community projects throughout the region. For its new headquarters, The Cameron Foundation chose to restore and re-use an 1840 Greek Revival mansion. The home had been gutted by fire and left abandoned for five years before documents were commissioned for a total restoration, and a new contemporary addition that doubles the size of the building. The addition is designed to be compatible with the existing architecture, while clearly expressing a contemporary vision. The joint between old and new is expressed as a metal clad vertical reveal separating the existing wood clapboard house from a transparent glass “hyphen” element containing entry and reception spaces. The proportion, scale, and hierarchical elements of the Greek Revival architecture are reinterpreted as an interplay of solids and voids in the addition. The addition itself reinterprets the massing and form of the extant house by distilling the formal parts using horizontal and vertical glass “slots and ribbons” to separate the roof and walls into purely expressed elements. When lit from within, the roof will appear to hover over free standing white concrete masonry planes. The large areas of glass create transparency and spaces filled with natural light.

The addition houses public meeting rooms and a large reception area. Landscaped terraces, site walls, and ramps mediate the grade and define the entry and outdoor reception space. The project is in a 19th century historic district and was approved by the city’s architectural review board.

Project Design Team, Building Massing and Detail Concepts with Enteros Design, PC, 2011

Photography by Josh McCullar