“By minimizing circulation space and focusing the most expensive detailing and materials on the front elevation and public spaces, the design team kept within the budget.”
Among the distinct design features is a white tensile structure that resembles a sail. The transition between the indoor and the outdoor environment is modulated by the tensile structure, which covers the drop-off and ballroom terrace and provides partial enclosure for outdoor activities during mild weather. At night, the structure glows as a beacon, outwardly welcoming the community to this important cultural center.
The design orients the building and its glazed elevations to the south and uses shading devices to provide daylighting and views while minimizing summer solar heat gain.
Though the building is on an urban site, water is an important thematic element. There is a large lake at the site of the adjacent Hampton Roads Coliseum. A series of water walls, fountains, jets and pools link indoor and outdoor spaces, connecting buildings and activities while mediating between the built and natural environment.
344,000 sq. ft. / 32,000 sq. m.
Excellence in Architecture – Virginia AIA
Award of Merit – Hampton Roads Association of Commercial Real Estate
Award of Excellence – Fabric Architecture magazine
Size, in square feet, of the exhibit hall