Towne Bank Richmond Headquarters at Gateway Plaza
Seeking to make a major statement in a new market, TowneBank leased this signature location for their Richmond Headquarters. A major design challenge was to reconcile the client’s neoclassical “Olde Virginia” traditional image with the very contemporary and minimalist context of this building. This challenge was especially acute on the ground floor, where the banking spaces serve as an extension of the building lobby, separated only by a huge sliding glass curtainwall that is open during the day.
The design team made extensive use of traditional materials, such as anigre and sapele wood paneling, backlit onyx panels and stone, but detailed them in a contemporary manner to be cohesive with the building’s context. Lighting is carefully controlled and integrated into the design to extend the visual interest and create floating planes in the ceiling. Overall interior design has a very clean appearance without distractions caused by typically exposed technology like security cameras. Such devices were made invisible by careful incorporation in the interior design. The use of local artwork throughout gives the space both its elegant appeal and a connection to the local community.
There were also significant challenges in that the available space meant splitting the functions into three separate suites while maintaining design unity and functional efficiency. Technologically and for code conformance, the suites share common support elements, even though they are separated by seven floors. There is a huge difference in the ceiling heights and volumes available in the different area, requiring careful detailing of key design elements to produce a consistent image.
In the executive suite, an outdoor balcony was added to the building to both provide a place to enjoy views of the James River, and to cut off sight lines to the parking garage below. Throughout all three suites, sight lines and interior vistas were carefully considered to draw you through the space.
Branding the building was a challenge that required structural ingenuity to accomplish. Signage is cantilevered out past the buildings ribbed curtainwall. The signs themselves are both internally illuminated and haloed with light to produce an interesting element in the night skyline.
Construction complexities included the installation of a concrete vault, the addition of the balcony, and extensive modifications to the curtainwall and other building systems, all accomplished in a building that was already open and occupied.
The project uses exquisite finishes and careful detailing to provide an elegant space that is an effective working environment, a beautiful place to entertain clients and a strong projection of the bank’s commitment to quality.
ASID/IIDA Interior Design Excellence Award
Corporate, Under 35,000 SF
Location: Richmond, Virginia