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Virginia Beach Convention Center

Virginia Beach Convention Center

A recent Architectural Record/Business Week Innovation Award winner, the Virginia Beach Convention Center was designed to reference the history of the beach district and support the city’s plan to redefine itself as a year-round destination. The center combines state-of-the-art technologies with cost-effective materials to create a new kind of convention experience.

The 529,000-square-foot Virginia Beach Convention Center’s design was inspired by its function as a central gathering space and its location in the city’s beach district. The center was envisioned as a ‘container’ for convention and exhibition activities, bringing together people, products and ideas.

Each function was clearly defined within the space, from a 150-foot meeting tower and observation deck to the building’s truck docks and service areas. Meeting ‘pods’ along the building’s main atrium allow for the incorporation of natural light into a maximum number of interior spaces without any sacrifice to function. The building also recalls the local landscape by incorporating natural elements, including reflecting pools, and a “front porch” which provides a shaded outdoor space adjacent to the building lobby.

The center incorporates state-of-the-art technology, including a 360-foot video wall which helped spur the development of a video art program within the city. The main ballroom combines a lighting system that can draw on over 17 million color patterns with sculpted forms and rich materials, likening the space to the interior of a violin.


Gordon Gill, Associate Partner + Senior Designer
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP


City of Virginia Beach


American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. IDEAS2 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel Award


AIA Chicago, Distinguished Building Award
BusinessWeek/Architectural Record, Citation for Excellence
Virginia Department of Environmental Equality, Virginia Green Certification
Facilities and Destinations Magazine, Prime Site Award
Trade Show Executive Innovation Award, Floor Grid
American Public Works Association's, Project of the Year
Real Estate & Construction Review Magazine, Plaque of Honor
Convention South Magazine, Reader's Choice Award Winner


Hampton Roads Commercial Real Estate Association, Best Institution/Public Building, First Honor Award   


Virginia Beach Planning Commission Honor Award, Exceptional Public Facility