Virginia War Memorial
Virginia War Memorial’s expansion aims to convey significant monumentality, quietness, reverence, and timelessness in its architecture. To connect old and new, the new structure is two stories, aligning with the floor levels, roof, and parapet of the existing building. The expansion is clad in stone and glass, in keeping with the material context of the site. Along the southern portion, sits a new Shrine of Memory for the Global War on Terror that achieves architectural parity with the original memorial pavilion. Its height, width, and column bay spacing match and its materials extend the monumental and austere nature of the memorial context. Each level of the building connects with the outdoors, to connect seamlessly with the site.
The north facade entrance purposefully contrasts with the existing oval entrance to present a unique and stately presence. A polished bronze panel canopy stands out from a limestone entry portico and extends through the glass into the lobby vestibule. The use of bronze is a visual reference to the bronze curtain wall detailing that appears in the new Shrine of Memory.
The interior design of the 19,500 sf space provides space for new programming and staff support including: a Distance Learning Center, staff office and collaboration space, new gallery, and a 300-seat multi-purpose space that flexibly converts to accommodate smaller groups with a vertical folding partition wall. Materials, furnishings, and selections for the interior are tonal, natural, and mature to resonate with the subdued architectural palette.
The Shrine of Memory for the Global War on Terror utilizes granite, marble, glass, and bronze to match that of the existing Shrine and new North entrance. The new Shrine is oriented along an east-west axis with, allowing visitors to capture a commanding view of the James River and surrounding city skyline. The roof overhang and glazing setbacks shade the full curtain wall during the day; at night, it is lit in a soft glow, seen when crossing the river.
The design of Virginia War Memorial’s recent expansion provides the Richmond community, and beyond, with space for thoughtful contemplation, honors the fallen in the Global War on Terror, gives the War Memorial staff a state-of-the-art space to support programming, and sits as a modern architectural icon to the City of Richmond and its residents.