Altria Renovation and Expansion

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

Constructed in 1958 as the HQ for Reynolds Metals, the newly completed Altria HQ honors the original building which sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Gordon Bunshaft, the campus, located in Richmond, VA, served as the archetype of the modern, suburban HQ. The site was designed by landscape architect Charles Gillette who envisioned a grand landscaped park. Our team embraced the site’s significance by designing a building expansion to unite existing and new on one campus.

As part of the original design, a large reflecting pool welcomes visitors and directs attention to the main entry and courtyard. By placing the new addition behind the original, the historic building shines as the campus focal point. Leveraging the site’s slope, the addition sits one level lower than the original building, allowing Bunshaft’s masterpiece to shine.

Serving to link the historic building and the addition, a connector was added to minimize impact. A new pedestrian bridge floats over the landscape and delivers employees into the building. Metal and glass, used on the exterior, allows the façades to reflect nature while referencing the original building, creating a sense of harmony.

The interior is organized around “Main Street” which extends the length of the complex on each level. Employee amenities are distributed along its length, providing collaboration and engagement. Break areas and grand stairs allow quick connections between levels. Interior finishes honor the building’s past, including aluminum accents, brick flooring, and striated book-matched marble.

Speciality Awards

Historic Preservation

Historic buildings provide a tangible link to the past—something everyone can experience. When Altria challenged us to transform a historic building into their new HQ, we tailored our design solution to honor its historic significance.
Much of this building’s beauty stems from the stunning presence visible on the north and east of the building. To avoid interfering with these views, we placed the new addition to the south and capitalized on a sloped landscape.
Although the interior was renovated, we maintained key interior finishes—like aluminum, cherry panels, and brick flooring—as a tribute to its legacy. These details, minuscule to some, weigh heavily in respecting the building's history.

Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

September, 2020