Capital One 1717 Innovation Hub
Award of Merit 

Owner: Capital One
Lead Design Firm: SMBW Architects
General Contractor: Gilbane Building Co.
MEP Engineer: ONeill Engineering 
Structural Engineer: Balzer and Associates Inc.
Subcontractors: Bagby Electric; Capital Interior Contractors Inc; ColonialWebb Contractors (Mechanical and Plumbing); Kumar Construction (General Trades); Weldon Steel

In just six months, a century-old, five-story former tobacco warehouse in Richmond’s historic Shockoe Bottom neighborhood was converted into a first-class incubator office space. 

Many of the building’s original windows, finishes and other elements were preserved and incorporated in the new interior layout, including existing doors and brick from the demolition. 

In addition to a demanding renovation schedule that required near-constant work on each floor, the building, which comes near the edge of the property line, required tightly scheduled deliveries and coordinated, dedicated laydown areas within the building footprint. 

To provide the owner with an extra measure of interior flexibility, the project team installed new wood flooring before the walls. Doing so eliminated the need for surface patching as layouts changed. 

The last-minute addition of a 5,045-sq-ft, sixth-floor event space had to be integrated quickly into the project timetable without stretching out the schedule or increasing the budget. 

Laser scans, control-point layouts and extensive coordination ensured that the new structural steel frame precisely aligned with original heavy timber columns. Exposed ceiling utilities were coordinated with drawings and mock-ups to prevent utility clashes. 

Along with a conference area, the new floor has a patio featuring a green roof with planter trays and 46 solar panels.

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