Gateway Plaza

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A premier office building designed from the inside out to meet the unique needs of leading-edge companies.

This project is on a 1.5-acre streetscape and urban plaza in Richmond, Virginia. The LEED Gold project transformed a pair of underutilized surface parking lots at a prominent intersection at the edge of Richmond’s central business district into an energizing new entrance for Downtown.

Gateway Plaza is the first and only soaring, multi-tenant office tower in the region created from the inside out to meet the unique needs of leading-edge companies. It derives its name from its prominent location, situated between the historic State Capitol and the James River, at the crossroads of two major highways, serving as a portal to Downtown.

The site is now home to an 18-story multi-tenant office tower, with ground floor street-oriented retail that brings vitality to an area formerly regarded as left-over space, with a streetscape design that converts a landscape once dominated by cars into a dynamic pedestrian environment.

The building represents a timeless architectural quality while embodying forward-reaching technologies for the 21st century. The pure rectangular form is expressed from the ground floor lobby up through the office floors and into the penthouse. This simple rectangular massing allows for optimal tenant office planning. Parking is carefully integrated into the base of the building, complimenting the office form, responding to the urban context, and reinforcing the city’s Master plan and urban design features.

Creating a catalyst for urban vitality, and a model of environmental sustainability through landscape architecture.

Landscape Architecture

Creating a catalyst for urban vitality, and a model of environmental sustainability through landscape architecture.

The design team imagined Gateway Plaza to support the entire project’s overarching objectives as an economic generator, a catalyst for urban vitality, and a model of environmental sustainability. 

The project master plan examined Gateway Plaza’s relationship to its context and nearby parks, resulting in maintaining an existing 60’ setback line along Canal Street, allowing for a generous urban plaza area on the project’s south side. The team studied numerous scenarios to ensure a balanced relationship between interior and exterior spaces merging art, transparency, and materiality. The result is sculpted landscape areas that provide havens for a quiet respite while mitigating stormwater runoff and the urban heat island effect.  

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The planting strategy incorporates native and adapted species and utilizes a grassy ground plane planting for year-round interest. Lower height plant groupings occupy the planters’ lower and upper slopes, maintaining views into the building while vertical grasses and shrubs dot the back slope. A blend of bulbs are intermingled throughout the grass and sedge matrix planting as a welcome introduction in Spring.  Shrubs and overhead trees help to ground the overall design in place structurally.  In the plaza, large Honeylocust trees were selected to best support a ground plane planting matrix due to their open form and branching, dappled shade-producing qualities.

The design team collaborated with renowned artists to develop a design vocabulary centered around the concept of “flow,” for connecting the final building to the nearby State Capitol and toward the James River. The outcome is the Gateway Trio – a theme; it’s the convergence between three “voices” that influence Richmond’s geography, government, and commerce.

Collectively, art, landscape architecture, and the building design merge with rich history and contextual significance to create a unique experience for all who engage the site, and its architecture.  


“Riversong” is an original painting renowned artists Robert Stackhouse and Carol Mickett were commissioned to do for the project.

Clear Passage

The sculpture is a massive and functional glass-and-stainless steel sculpture titled “Clear Passage” that dominates a corner of the lobby and resembles sunlight shining into the lobby.


McGuire Woods


Richmond, VA


356,000 SF Office Tower
182,000 SF Garage
18-Story Building
1.5 acre


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture


2017 – Chicago Atheneum – American Architecture Award

2016 – Architects Newspaper – Honorable Mention, Best of Design

2016 AIA St. Louis Chapter – Merit Award

2016 – ASLA Central States – Merit Award (Built)

2016 – DBIA – Merit


2015 – ASLA St. Louis Chapter – Honor Award