Quinn Evans’ Old City Hall and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Humanities & Sciences STEM Building projects won 2023 Golden Hammer Best Restoration and Best New Construction (civic) awards, respectively. Old City Hall also received a Teens’ Choice special award by Storefront’s City Builders design workshop participants.
The annual awards honoring standout real estate projects in the Virginia region were presented November 2 by nonprofits Historic Richmond and Storefront for Community Design. A total of 14 awards were presented from among 48 nominees in a ceremony held at Hardywood Richmond.
The Old City Hall project is a comprehensive renovation and programming effort, beginning in 2020, that revitalized a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally designed by architect Elijah E. Myers and completed in 1894, this iconic four-story building has been a central fixture in downtown Richmond, featuring a stunning stone façade with two imposing towers and intricate interior details such as locally crafted cast iron stairs and ornate columns. We successfully preserved this historic structure while creating modern workspace for multiple state government agencies.
In partnership with the Virginia Department of General Services, we served as the lead architect with a focus on historic preservation for the renovation including extensive measures to address water damage and restore the building's exterior envelope. The project team conducted a thorough survey of the masonry walls, specifying rehabilitation measures that involved full repointing of the granite, cleaning, and repairs using Dutchman and patching mortar.
Furthermore, the project encompasses roof replacement and window restorations in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's standards. This ambitious endeavor breathes new life into Old City Hall, ensuring its continued significance and sensitively preserving the architectural heritage of the building.
The new Humanities and Sciences Building at VCU is a transformative project that presents an integrated and flexible learning environment within the Monroe Park Campus. Spanning 167,400 square feet, this urban infill project, led by Ballinger with support from Quinn Evans, prioritizes the interconnections between various disciplines and departments. It serves as a hub for STEM education, featuring teaching laboratories for Chemistry, Biology, Physics, as well as innovative spaces for Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Psychology, and Anthropology.
The building not only reimagines the historic context of Franklin Street but also enhances student gathering spaces both inside and outside, fostering collaboration and student achievement. It offers a wide range of instructional facilities, including 34 teaching labs, the Math Exchange, large-capacity classrooms, computer labs, and flexible classrooms, supporting an array of subjects such as chemistry, biology, physics, math, psychology, and kinesiology.
This state-of-the-art facility is designed to enhance interdisciplinary education and provide a dynamic, transparent environment for students. With its instructional wet and dry labs, it stands as a testament to VCU's commitment to delivering a holistic learning experience while serving as a vibrant campus hub that encourages collaboration and creativity among students and faculty.
View the full list of winners and get more information here.