SMBW Announces Promotion of Erin Rowe to Market Manager

SMBW Announces Promotion of Erin Rowe to Market Manager

SMBW – February 19, 2020

SMBW, an interdisciplinary design studio for architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and urban planning founded and operating in Richmond, is proud to announce that Erin Rowe has been promoted to Market Manager in the firm.

Rowe, of Richmond, VA, first earned a B.S. in Communication from Radford University in 2009 and started her career in Marketing.  Years later, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Environments at Virginia Commonwealth University and has been a practicing Interior Designer at SMBW for five years. The Market Manager role has been crafted to blend her Marketing and Design experience to position the firm for new projects, through business development and marketing efforts.

Rowe’s professional experience spans regional corporate and higher education projects, but her real passion is people. As an interior designer, she worked to truly get to know a client and understand their needs, offering research and relationship-based solutions resulting in thoughtful designs.  As Market Manager, Erin’s ability to connect with SMBW’s clients and the Richmond community will restructure the firm’s approach to winning new work and making community connections.  Erin is an active community member serving as the President of the Junior Board of Historic Richmond, the Vice President of Sponsorship for IIDA (International Interior Design Association), and a lifelong Big Sister volunteer to Richmond teens.

Tamara Van Meter, Firm Principal and Head of Interiors: “Erin possesses a unique and powerful understanding of both the creative and business drivers that make a project successful.   She thinks like a client and encourages our team to push beyond the physical design solution and explore ways our buildings can serve the community, convey brand, and ultimately bring value to our client’s business.  Her energetic and outgoing personality make her a natural leader in our firm and community.    We are incredibly excited to have created a custom role that showcases Erin’s strengths and look forward to the impact she will make on SMBW!”

Click here to read the full press release


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Hardywood plans to consolidate and revamp its Richmond brewery and taproom

Hardywood plans to consolidate and revamp its Richmond brewery and taproom

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH – February 12, 2020

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is consolidating its operations on Ownby Lane in Richmond into one building, which the company is planning to renovate to give a refreshed look to its taproom and patio where visitors gather for beers.

With developers eyeing new plans for the surrounding area, Hardywood, an early entrant in the Richmond area’s booming craft beer scene, plans to vacate the building it leases at 2408 Ownby Lane where the company’s founders first started brewing beer in 2011. That 12,091-square-foot building it leases was sold last week.

The brewery in 2012 acquired the building next door at 2410 Ownby Lane to serve as the main gathering spot for its customers. Hardywood is keeping that building, which will undergo a renovation.

“The main goals of our planned renovation of 2410 Ownby Lane are to provide a more comfortable and welcoming visitor experience, and to enhance customer engagement with our experimental brewing efforts,” Hardywood co-founder and President Eric McKay said on Wednesday.

The renovation plan, first reported by Richmond BizSense, comes as real estate developers want to put mixed-use projects in the area surrounding Hardywood.

The Richmond Planning Commission is scheduled to hear a proposal on Tuesday by Spy Rock Real Estate Group to rezone the 0.898-acre parcel at 2408 Ownby Lane from M-2 Heavy Industrial to B-5 Central Business , which would allow for redevelopment of the property with mixed uses including retail shops and other businesses and residential.

Also on the Planning Commission agenda is a proposal to rezone 2413 Ownby Lane, at the corner of Ownby Lane and Overbrook Road, and 1601 and 1611 Overbrook Road from M-2 Heavy Industrial to B-5 Central Business . Hardywood’s taproom building is in between those properties.

The parcel under review for a rezoning at 2408 Ownby Lane was sold Feb. 7 to SRC Overbrook LLC for $1.35 million, city online property records show. 2408 Ownby Lane LLC had bought the building for $595,000 in 2003.

The building is assessed in 2020 for $1.095 million, city records show.

The 0.951-acre property at 2410 Ownby Lane — Hardywood’s taproom — is owned by Hardywood Properties LLC, which bought it for $670,000 in 2012, city online records show. The property is assessed in 2020 for $1.157 million.

McKay said Hardywood hopes to start construction on the renovation of its building this spring, with most of the interior work being completed by late summer.

The patio renovation will likely take place next January, McKay said. The brewery will remain open during construction, he said.

“We’ve long been believers in the ability of craft breweries to revitalize neighborhoods, and it’s been exciting to witness the early transformation of this side of Arthur Ashe Boulevard,” he said.

Early in 2018, Hardywood opened its 55,000-square-foot West Creek brewery and taproom in Goochland County. Located on Sanctuary Trail Drive in the West Creek office park, that brewery produces Hardywood’s flagship brands, while the brewery in Richmond focused on more experimental styles of beer.

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Hardywood to revamp Ownby Lane HQ after sale of original brewery

Hardywood to revamp Ownby Lane HQ after sale of original brewery

BIZSENSE- February 12, 2020

Excited to be partnering with our friend at Hardywood on a new vision for the brewery’s Richmond HQ location.

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VCU Health shares details of plans that rely on Navy Hill project City Council is poised to reject

VCU Health shares details of plans that rely on Navy Hill project City Council is poised to reject

RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH – February 4, 2020

“VCU Health released details on an expansion that would be part of the larger Navy Hill project on Tuesday, a day after the Richmond City Council took two steps signaling majority opposition to the project.

VCU Health said the plan — including offices for medical school faculty, retail shopping and dining, 1,500 parking spaces, and housing for the families of sick patients in need — is dependent on the $1.5 billion Navy Hill downtown redevelopment project”

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$2M deal clears way for 7-story ‘One Canal’ building downtown

$2M deal clears way for 7-story ‘One Canal’ building downtown

BIZSENSE- January 29, 2020

Check out our new mixed use project dubbed, One Canal, on Richmond Bizsense.

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CoStar in talks for new office tower within Navy Hill development

CoStar in talks for new office tower within Navy Hill development

BIZSENSE- January 14, 2020

“Representatives with developer NH District Corp. joined Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney in announcing Monday that real estate research firm CoStar Group has struck a tentative agreement to occupy a 400,000-square-foot office building within the development, should the City Council approve the $1.5 billion project” 

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Sprout School to take root in shuttered Manchester church

Sprout School to take root in shuttered Manchester church

BIZSENSE – November 27, 2019

Clients with a cause give our design work meaning and purpose. We’re thrilled to be taking this project to the next level with the YWCA.

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JMU celebrates grand opening of Paul Jennings Hall

JMU celebrates grand opening of Paul Jennings Hall

WHSV 3- October 11, 2019

The SMBW Dukes were extra happy to work on the interiors for this new residence hall at JMU. Congrats, JMU!

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New 100,000-square-foot building planned for biotech park

New 100,000-square-foot building planned for biotech park

BIZSENSE- September 17, 2019

Activation Capital has big plans for Jackson Ward and SMBW is happy to be a part of this team!

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Coliseum redevelopment planning leans on local businesses

Coliseum redevelopment planning leans on local businesses

BIZSENSE- August 07, 2019

The proposed Navy Hill development is the type of visionary project that recognizes the strength of the city of Richmond as a place of innovation. This project will reclaim a lost historic neighborhood that was once a thriving urban center in the city. It will show that Richmond is a city that values sustainable development built for all its citizens and visitors and that Richmond continues to be a place to call home.

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What is NH District Corp.? Documents lay out structure and business ties of Coliseum project group

What is NH District Corp.? Documents lay out structure and business ties of Coliseum project group

RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH- June 26, 2019

Questions about the Navy Hill development? Visit: https://navyhillrva.com/get-the-facts

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Local designs, designers pick up architecture awards

Local designs, designers pick up architecture awards

BIZSENSE- May 17, 2019

Our work at the 1717 Innovation Center brought us home an AIA Design Award last night! Extra special, as the awards ceremony was held in one of our current projects, the Virginia War Memorial.

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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Project Feature: 1717 Innovation Center

Project Feature: 1717 Innovation Center

Office Snapshots – March 12, 2019

“A once underutilized building is now the Capital One funded home of Startup Virginia, a nonprofit incubator whose new space connects its participating entrepreneurs to mentors and programs in the community. Based out of a 100 year-old, 5-story heavy-timber former tobacco warehouse in the growing Shockoe Bottom region, the 1717 Innovation Center is a community-driven business incubator, housing the non-profit Startup Virginia. Capital One, who funded the project through their Future Edge program, also occupy space on two floors for gathering space and a research lab.”

Click here to see the full feature

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SMBW Announces Promotion of Melinda Jeffries, NCIDQ, to Firm Associate

SMBW Announces Promotion of Melinda Jeffries, NCIDQ, to Firm Associate

SMBW – January 28, 2019

SMBW is proud to announce that Melinda Jeffries, NCIDQ, has been promoted to an Associate in the firm. Jeffries, of Richmond, VA, first earned a B.S. in Biology, followed by a Master’s in Teaching from James Madison University in ’07 and ’08 respectively.  After having completed a Master’s in Fine Arts for Interior Environments at Virginia Commonwealth University, she began her career at SMBW and has been with the firm for over six years.  She continues to utilize her teaching skills through adjunct positions within the Interior Design Department at VCU.

Tamara Van Meter, Firm Principal and Head of Interiors: “Melinda’s background in teaching and science coupled with her artistic talent create the perform storm as a design leader.  She is a deeply analytical and strategic thinker which enable creative problem solving and design solutions.   Her engaging personality and communication style make her a natural mentor to our firm’s young designers as well as the regional design student community.  We are thrilled to welcome Melinda as an Associate of SMBW!”

Click here to read the press release

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Ten projects, including 1717 Innovation Center and the ICA, earn Golden Hammer Awards

Ten projects, including 1717 Innovation Center and the ICA, earn Golden Hammer Awards

Richmond Times Dispatch – November 8, 2018

“Ten development projects in the Richmond area were deemed to be the best in their categories at the 2018 Golden Hammer Awards ceremony.

There were 35 projects nominated for the awards, which recognizes the best in historic preservation, blight reduction and neighborhood revitalization.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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RTS Labs in Henrico poised to double its workforce over the next few years

RTS Labs in Henrico poised to double its workforce over the next few years

RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH- November 5, 2018

Small and large projects alike keep our design team nimble. Congrats to RTS Labs on their new office space!

Related Project: RTS Labs
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Project Profile: 1717 Innovation Center

Project Profile: 1717 Innovation Center

Knoll.com – October 30, 2018

“The 1717 Innovation Center provides opportunities for casual collaboration, fosters creativity, and supports employee engagement. [It] implements these forward-thinking concepts, paying particular attention to wellbeing, flexibility, hospitality, and a balance between individuals and teams.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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UVa launches First Lady’s Food Lab at Morven

UVa launches First Lady’s Food Lab at Morven

Charlottesville Tomorrow – October 18, 2018

“‘The unique thing that we are trying to create here at University of Virginia is to look at food systems, not just growing food, but actually working on access,’ [Dorothy] McAuliffe said. ‘We have plenty of food, but there is a gap in the food system that denies access to the kids that need it most.’

Housed in a former barn, the Food Lab is a meeting space and kitchen that will support food justice initiatives at UVa and in the Charlottesville area.”

Click here to read the full story

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RTS Labs Moves into New Bigger Office in Richmond to Accommodate Growth

RTS Labs Moves into New Bigger Office in Richmond to Accommodate Growth

RTS Labs Blog – September 6, 2018

“Our office suite is not only fun and creative, it has lots of open space to accommodate multiple meeting styles with private zones for heads down work and meeting rooms for strategy sessions and client meetings. It’s simple and inspires collaboration. The space SMBW designed truly represents the culture we’ve built at RTS Labs.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: RTS Labs
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2018 Brick in Architecture Awards Honor Remarkable Design

2018 Brick in Architecture Awards Honor Remarkable Design

The Brick Industry Association – July 24, 2018

The Brick Industry Association recognized SMBW + team for our work at University of Richmond on the Queally Admissions Center with a Gold Award in the Higher Education category.

See the full list of winners here

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Project Feature: Envera Health

Project Feature: Envera Health

Office Snapshots – July 16, 2018

“Envera Health, a partner in healthcare engagement services, sought a Richmond-based location to consolidate multiple office locations creating a unified culture that aligns their work environment and community-centered mission. Designed by SMBW, the 25,000 SF facility can accommodate 100% employee growth utilizing flexible workstations and technology to accommodate frequent team reconfigurations. Taking advantage of the 19’ tall ceilings, mezzanines allow team collaborative lounges a bird’s eye view of the office below.”

Click here to see the full feature

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Increasing Remembrance

Richmond Magazine – May 24, 2018

“By Memorial Day next year, soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan will be honored at the expanded Virginia War Memorial. Nearly a year after the $25 million project’s groundbreaking in June 2017, excavation of the hillside between the War Memorial and Second Street is complete, construction workers have laid the foundation, and the building is starting to take shape.”

Click here to read the full story

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HandCraft building, Owens & Minor lease earn top GRACRE awards

HandCraft building, Owens & Minor lease earn top GRACRE awards

Richmond Bizsense – April 19, 2018

“The GRACRE ceremony, held at the Country Club of Virginia, recognized 23 projects and transactions. It was hosted by Cheryl Shanahan, EDC business development manager.”

Click here to read the full story

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Startups at Shockoe Bottom incubator look to provide innovative services from health care to education

Startups at Shockoe Bottom incubator look to provide innovative services from health care to education


Richmond Times-Dispatch – April 1, 2018

“Moving into the 1717 Innovation Center was a ‘no-brainer’ [April Palmer, co-founder of Pivot Pass] said. ‘We came to Richmond because we felt the startup scene was right for us here,’ she said. ‘It is a market on an upward trend, and where we wanted to be,’ [Brig Leland, co-founder] added. ‘We could be in New York or Boston, but we chose Richmond because we see the potential in the area.'”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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1717 Innovation Center starts engines in the Bottom

1717 Innovation Center starts engines in the Bottom


Richmond BizSense – March 27, 2018

“Gilbane Building Co. and SMBW Architects were the builder and architect on the project, respectively. The former tobacco warehouse could house up to 50 startups. Startup Virginia’s members can use the building and get access to mentorship, investors and events. Current members include DineGigsReRunner and Seasonal Roots. About 40 startups are signed on to be in the building, and they take month-to-month leases for different spaces, similar to how coworking spaces operate.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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Richmond’s Iconic Climax Beverage Co. To Re-Launch

Richmond’s Iconic Climax Beverage Co. To Re-Launch

Dogtown Dish – March 25, 2018

“Our next task was to decide where to set up the brewing/bottling operation and tasting room for Climax Beverage Co. We intend to locate Climax in Swansboro, just west of Manchester, as part of a destination based development that will focus on food & beverages. This large Swansboro development will include the old Siegel’s grocery store we have already begun restoring. (…) To flesh all this out, we have engaged SMBW architects to assist with the master planning. Climax Beverage Co. will be folded in as one component of a broad vision for this multi-faceted re-development effort. The hope is that the revitalized area will include a whole swath of purveyors including food vendors, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and fresh produce/market items to help serve the needs of the surrounding neighborhood. ”

Click here to read the full story

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Main Street Station a hit as new venue for Virginia Wine Expo

Main Street Station a hit as new venue for Virginia Wine Expo

Richmond Times-Dispatch – March 5, 2018

“[Alex Papajohn, Executive Director of the Virginia Wine Expo], said the Victorian-era train station (…) is a ‘world-class venue’ that represents ‘a major reset’ for the event.'”

Click here to read the full story

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Sweet as Pie

Sweet as Pie


Richmond Magazine – January 1, 2018

PIEtech, a fast-growing Powhatan-based company that creates financial-planning software, tapped SMBW to design its second location in Midlothian. The 17,000-square-foot space aesthetically speaks to PIEtech’s quirky and colorful identity, while also encouraging the company’s day-to-day operations to run as a well-oiled machine.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: PIEtech
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‘We need to show we have a wow factor’: Virginia Wine Expo 2018 is all new with new digs, better wine and booze

‘We need to show we have a wow factor’: Virginia Wine Expo 2018 is all new with new digs, better wine and booze

Richmond Times-Dispatch – February 14, 2018

“‘It is cool, beautiful, spectacular, and it’s a destination-worthy venue,’ [Alex Papajohn, creator and director for the Virginia Wine Expo] said. ‘We need to show we have a wow factor.'”

Click here to read the full story

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At CodeRVA, High School Mimics the Workplace

At CodeRVA, High School Mimics the Workplace

NPR, WVTF Radio IQ – February 11, 2018

“We’re cognizant of the fact that we don’t know all the answers,” says [Michael Bolling, Executive Director of CodeRVA Regional High School].”We’re a lab and innovation school that’s taking chances to hope to influence, or change, education in the state and also the nation.”

Click here to read or listen to the full story

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Fortune’s  2018 Business by Design List

Fortune’s 2018 Business by Design List

Fortune.com – December 22, 2017

“Banking and cutting-edge design don’t automatically go together. But Capital One has adopted design thinking as a mantra to reinvent itself as a software company and innovation incubator, rather than a traditional bank. After acquiring design firms Adaptive Path and Monsoon, Capital One has recently rolled out fresh digital features, from an emoji-enabled SMS chatbot to GPS-tracked transaction histories. In early 2018 it will unveil its 1717 Innovation Center in Richmond, a 42,000-square-foot facility housing an experience design research lab and, through a partnership with an incubator program, some 50 startups.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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SMBW Announces Promotion of Sierra Roman, CID, to Firm Associate

SMBW Announces Promotion of Sierra Roman, CID, to Firm Associate

SMBW – January 11, 2018

SMBW is proud to announce that Sierra Roman, CID, has been promoted to an Associate in the firm. Roman, a 2006 James Madison University graduate from Chester, VA, has been with the firm for eight years and became a certified interior designer in 2010. Using a client-centric approach with an unrelenting passion for design, Roman has worked on an array of project types including commercial offices, higher education, community non-profits, outpatient healthcare facilities, and retail.

Tamara Van Meter, Firm Principal and Head of Interiors: “Sierra’s passion for design and sensitivity to the client’s vision are tremendous assets to our firm.   As a mentor, she works with young designers on maintaining design integrity with fresh creative ideas.  We are thrilled to welcome Sierra as an Associate and emerging leader at SMBW!”

Click here to read the press release

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Shockoe Bottom business incubator to be ‘a game changer;’ slated for opening in early 2018

Shockoe Bottom business incubator to be ‘a game changer;’ slated for opening in early 2018

Richmond BizSense – December 29, 2017

“‘One thing it is easy to forget is that Capital One was a startup,’ said Jay Sanne, vice president of technology at Capital One and a Startup Virginia board member. ‘We look back on those times and we have a deep sense of responsibility to the Richmond area, and really to entrepreneurs and disruptors,’ he said. ‘They are trying to do the same thing that we did over the course of the last 25 years. We truly hope that this incubator creates companies that have the kind of impact that Capital One has had on this region.’

‘That is exactly what we are looking to do with this facility — have it be a focal point … so that we can compete with other peer groups’ cities around the nation.’ – Brian Bostic”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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Business incubator nearing completion in the Bottom

Business incubator nearing completion in the Bottom

Richmond BizSense – December 15, 2017

“Construction is wrapping up on Capital One’s 1717 Innovation Center, which is targeting an early 2018 opening. The 42,000-square-foot building will be the home of local nonprofit Startup Virginia and a starting point for the roughly 50 startups to which it provides mentorship.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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Local health services provider opens canal HQ, launches cap raise for sister company

Local health services provider opens canal HQ, launches cap raise for sister company

Richmond BizSense – December 8, 2017

“Envera Health cut the ribbon on its new 27,000-square-foot headquarters Thursday in the Riverside on the James building at 1001-1101 Haxall Point, along the canal downtown.

CEO Dan Neuwirth said the move to the canal allowed the company, which offers scheduling, referral and other services to health systems, to consolidate its offices into one location. Previously, its 120 employees spread out in offices in Shockoe Slip and along West Broad Street near the Science Museum of Virginia. It also operated a call center in Innsbrook, which also was moved to its new headquarters downtown.”

Click here to read the full story

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As Richmond’s business scene has changed, so has Fahrenheit Group’s consulting services

As Richmond’s business scene has changed, so has Fahrenheit Group’s consulting services

Richmond Times-Dispatch – October 8, 2017

“Earlier this year, Fahrenheit made the move from its former office in Henrico into a new 6,500-square-foot space in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition area. (…) ‘We wanted something different, not a traditional corporate space,’ [Keith] Middleton said. ‘It is about our brand and culture.’

‘This space is definitely an extension of our team and our culture,’ [Rich] Reinecke said. ‘On any given day, we will have clients and nonclients using our space for various things. It is great for us, and the more people who come through here and interact with our team, the better.'”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: The Fahrenheit Group
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Modern Row House in Richmond, Virginia

Modern Row House in Richmond, Virginia

Busyboo – August 30, 2017

“Welcome to Richmond, Virginia, a city rich in American history and variable urban style, which is exactly what this modern row house offers – heaps of character and forward-thinking style.

Located in a Historic District known for limited space in which to build, this Jackson Ward neighborhood find was a true gem for the Georgian client looking to create something individual to their desires.

Such desires were fulfilled by SMBW while still blending in amidst the crowd of front porch wielding, cast iron donning, bay window owning exteriors, while a walk inside extends an immediate wow factor.

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: Richmond Row House
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New computer science school in Richmond ready to ‘disrupt public education’

New computer science school in Richmond ready to ‘disrupt public education’

Richmond Times-Dispatch – September 3, 2017

“‘I think getting students at that young age, [CodeRVA is] going to get them that experience before the negative stereotypes that come with computing,’ [Madalene] Spezialetti said. ‘There’s a lot more to do in computer science than just sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer for 10 hours a day.'”

There aren’t any cubicles in CodeRVA (…) It’s an open floor plan where students — with school-provided Google Chromebooks — will collaborate.”

Click here to read the full story

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VBA on Main – New VBA home adds work, social space for members

VBA on Main – New VBA home adds work, social space for members

Virginia Bar Association Journal – Spring 2017

“The legal environment has changed dramatically in a generation, and the VBA is responding. This year, the association embraces its tradition as well as its future by moving to a new space complete with a member center and new technology for members to work, learn, and network. This lawyers’ home away from the office will be the ultimate association member benefit — and one not offered to this degree by any other statewide bar group in Virginia.”

Click here to download the full issue

Related Project: Virginia Bar Association
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12-story tower proposed for Manchester

12-story tower proposed for Manchester

Richmond BizSense – June 5, 2017

“Richmond-based SMBW Architects was retained as the project’s architect, McDonald said. He added the firm is looking to retain Purcell Construction as the general contractor. 512 Hull Street would bring Richmond one of its first tastes of micro-apartments, which McDonald said will include studio units ranging from 400 to 500 square feet. One-bedroom units would range from 500 to 600 square feet.”

Click here to read the full story

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PIEtech provides a fun environment which encourages hard work and camaraderie

PIEtech provides a fun environment which encourages hard work and camaraderie

Richmond Times Dispatch – May 4, 2017

PIEtech provides a fun and casual environment which encourages hard work and camaraderie. You can regularly see employees zipping around the office on scooters, challenging each over a foosball match or fighting it out for the ping-pong title. Colorful and interesting art adds an element of fun to an already pleasing environment”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: PIEtech
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Downtown Development Forum showcases dozens of projects reshaping Richmond’s landscape

Downtown Development Forum showcases dozens of projects reshaping Richmond’s landscape

Richmond Times Dispatch – April 25, 2017

“'[T]he city and property owners have leased 300,000 square feet of office space in the last six months,’ said Lucy Meade, director of marketing and development for Venture Richmond.

The downtown advocacy group partnered with the city of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate to present the annual Downtown Development Forum on Tuesday night. (…) Hundreds of people attended the event at the Main Street Station Shed, one of the projects hailed at the forum. ‘No city has a structure like this in the commonwealth,’ Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: Main Street Station
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Envera Health moving into office space in Riverside on the James building

Envera Health moving into office space in Riverside on the James building

Richmond Times Dispatch – March 21, 2017

“It is a beautiful space,” [Envera Chief Executive Officer Dan Neuwirth] said. “Having a beautiful, natural space with a natural setting to it is conducive to the type of service we want to provide to the patients we touch.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: Envera Health
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Capital One buys future business incubator building in Shockoe Bottom

Capital One buys future business incubator building in Shockoe Bottom

Richmond Times Dispatch – March 20, 2017

“‘Since we bought the building … we have been out talking to local businesses and community leaders,’ [Brad] Cummings said. ‘There is a ton of interest in what we are trying to do for the community by creating this high-growth business incubator.'”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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Ledbury folds up West End location, focuses on Downtown

Ledbury folds up West End location, focuses on Downtown

Richmond Biz Sense – January 12, 2017

“[Trible] said the Broad Street store has been a success, and its retail sales are up about 50 percent from its old location in Shockoe Slip.”

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: Ledbury
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Local Entrepreneurs Announce Business Incubator and Angel Fund

Local Entrepreneurs Announce Business Incubator and Angel Fund

PR Web – November 17, 2017

“‘The key to successful business incubators around the country is three-fold,’ [Will Loving, of 1717 Partners] said. ‘First, the physical space is exclusive to like early stage companies. Second, other occupants of the space include mentors – entrepreneurs and business leaders who have ‘been there/done that’ and are at the ready to counsel these early-stage firms. Third, having access – not guarantees, but access – to capital, ideally from venture capitalists and angel investors who are also in the same physical space. Having all parties together allows for mutually beneficial ‘collisions’ to occur.'”

SMBW is so thrilled to be a part of this exciting project! Stay tuned for more updates on this venture in 2017!

Click here to read the full story

Related Project: 1717 Innovation Center
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Architect ‘touches the fabric of the city with his heart’

Architect ‘touches the fabric of the city with his heart’

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH- March 14, 2011

To see Will Scribner’s monument, look around metropolitan Richmond.

The Greater Richmond Convention Center, the United Network for Organ Sharing building with its National Donor Memorial, the Turning Basin Building, VCU’s Gladding Residence Hall, the Luck Stone Corp. headquarters, the University of Richmond’s Weinstein Hall and now the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ expansion are just some of the architectural projects on which Scribner and his colleagues at SMBW Architects have put their seal.

When Scribner came to Richmond in 1971, fresh out of the University of Virginia’s architecture school, he dreamed of designing a remarkable new building that people would come to see as much for the building itself as for what was in it.

“To be able to play a small part in this Virginia Museum of Fine Arts experience was a fulfillment of that,” Scribner said.

With the much-heralded $150 million Virginia Museum project, the vision became real last fall when the museum opened its new wing to an enthusiastic public.

Handling the museum’s technical aspects, SMBW was the executive architect on the project, working with Rick Mather of London, who did the conceptual design.

“The life of the executive architect is to handle 50 percent of the work,” Scribner said, “and 120 percent of the headaches.”

The new building has energized the Richmond art scene.

“It’s already been accepted as a tremendous addition to the world of museum architecture,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s director. “The real measure is the visitors we’ve had from across the country and across the globe who have literally found it to be a work of art in itself.”

Said Scribner, “In many ways, great and small, that’s what good architecture does.”


* * * * *


Farther afield, his Richmond-based firm collaborated in 2005-08 with the faculty of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture on two well-received additions to the school. “It has transformed the life of the school,” said U.Va. architecture professor William Sherman, who worked on the design with SMBW.

Similarly, SMBW’s 2005 design for Luck Stone’s $25 million expansion of its Goochland County headquarters was aimed directly at changing its culture, the company said, encouraging collaboration and innovation through a transformed work environment.

“It’s really one of the most inspirational places I’ve ever worked in or been in,” said Luck Stone executive Anderson McNeill. “The positive impact that building had has far exceeded the initial expectations.”

And in Salem, SMBW’s international award-winning Belvedere Gardens Mausoleum has become a community focal point, providing an atmosphere of spiritual reflection and respect for life’s natural order in the Southwest Virginia mountains.

Groups come to the mausoleum in Sherwood Memorial Park to mark solemn moments, brides use the site for wedding pictures, veterans visit on ceremonial occasions, and architecture students troop through to study SMBW’s work, said Susan Mini, the cemetery’s president and CEO.


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SMBW is a relatively small firm — 16 architects, landscape architects and interior designers — working out of a former paper warehouse in Manchester, but it has had outsized impact on Richmond and Virginia life, frequently winning state and national awards for its work.

Scribner himself has received the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects’ highest award, given for lifetime achievement, while SMBW has been awarded the state society’s top honor for its record of distinguished architecture.

At the same time, he said, “I’ve done my share of shopping centers and suburban office buildings.”

Although much of SMBW’s work is Modernist, Scribner noted, “we’re not driven by a particular style.”

“For us,” he said, “it’s about a design process rooted in thorough research, understanding the client’s concerns and being wholeheartedly engaged in the client’s mission.”


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Besides his firm’s building and landscape projects, Scribner also has put his mark on the capital city in its planning activities.

As chairman of the Richmond City Planning Commission in late 1990s, he helped lead the development of a new downtown master plan, one that envisioned the now-completed regional convention center, the new federal district courts building and the performing arts district.

“It’s the machinery of local government and the citizenry at its most fundamental,” he said of his work on the Planning Commission, “and it’s dealing with issues that have lasting impact on the community and the quality of people’s lives.”

A key accomplishment of his time as chairman of Richmond’s Public Arts Committee in the 1990s, Scribner said, was working to establish the city’s Percent for the Arts Program, which called for funds to place art works in municipal buildings.

One of strengths of Scribner and SMBW is their ability to work fruitfully with partners, clients and colleagues say. “Will and the others at SMBW have been able to find that balance between confidence in their own ideas and working with others,” U.Va.’s Sherman said.

Scribner’s gift for bringing people with differing ideas together came to the fore on the Virginia Museum project, Nyerges said.

At times during the project’s development, “the tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife,” the museum director said. However, “when Will entered the picture … his very soft-spoken but firm approach helped to smooth out the process.”

Of the SMBW firm, Scribner said, “Everybody else here works on buildings. My major design project is the firm itself.”

“I have never thought of this as ‘my’ firm,” said Scribner, who lives in Richmond’s North Side and comes from a family of architects in Charlottesville. “It is the work of great people, creative minds and many hands, faithfully pursued over nearly two decades.”

His goal, he said, is “to have the privilege of surrounding myself with talented and inspiring co-workers … and encourage them to do good work.”

And Scribner has been successful at it. “He’s really … a true mentor,” said his business partner, Lou Wolf.

He is a guest lecturer at Virginia Tech and U.Va., teaching portions of the graduate professional-practice class.

Randolph-Macon College sociology professor Elizabeth A. Gill brings students taking her death and dying course to UNOS’ National Donor Memorial in downtown Richmond.

“It’s a rather unique style of memorialization,” Gill said of SMBW’s design. “It’s a journey from death into life.”

The designers had “a particular burden to bear,” she said: “They had to give meaning and purpose to loss.”

The memorial has special significance for her, Gill said, because she made the decision to donate her deceased brother’s organs. The Donor Memorial “really captured what my experience had been of that time in my life.”

SMBW’s Convention Center is at the center of Jack Berry’s work as executive director of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors’ Bureau.

“Will Scribner touches the fabric of the city with his heart,” Berry said. “We’re very fortunate to have someone with his talent.”

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SMBW Architects: Leading Design in Virginia

SMBW Architects: Leading Design in Virginia

VMFA PRESS ROOM – April 5, 2010

In order to realize his vision for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, London-based architect Rick Mather formed a partnership for the VMFA expansion program with one of the leading architectural firms in Virginia, SMBW Architects.

SMBW Architects is Richmond’s leading interdisciplinary design studio for thoughtful, cutting-edge, contemporary architecture, landscape architecture and interior design in the region. Integrating rigorous technical expertise with stewardship of the urban and natural landscape, SMBW partners with clients to produce timeless, identity-rich and mission-driven environments. SMBW Architects thrives on unique and challenging projects that cultivate equally distinctive design responses. Their body of work represents a variety of typologies, scales and contexts that demand the research and sensitivity with which SMBW excels. SMBW is passionately dedicated to the consequence of what it builds and to making a lasting and positive contribution to the community.

In addition to VMFA, the flagship art museum of Virginia, SMBW’s other clients include many of the commonwealth’s institutions, agencies, municipalities and leading corporations. Among the firm’s recently completed projects are two additions to the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia (with WG Clark and Bill Sherman) and Luck Stone’s new corporate headquarters in Goochland. Luck Stone won the 2009 GRACRE Award for Best Commercial Building and a Merit Award in the 2010 AIA Richmond Design Awards. The UVA School of Architecture recently won the 2009 Virginia Society AIA Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and an Honor Award in the 2010 AIA Richmond Design Awards. www.smbw.com

SMBW Architects thrives on unique and challenging projects that cultivate equally distinctive design responses. Its body of work represents a variety of typologies, scales and contexts that demand the research and sensitivity with which SMBW excels. SMBW is passionately dedicated to the consequence of what it builds and to making a lasting and positive contribution to the community.

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