Science Museum of Virginia

Location: Richmond, Va.

Project type: museum

Client: Science Museum of Virginia


  • science exhibition galleries
  • stepped theater
  • administration offices
  • lobby and circulation enhancements

Adaptive re-use and renovation of this historic railway station into a science museum enhanced the building's orientation, circulation and flexibility. Architectural and engineering services for this landmark project consisted of work on more than 70,000 square feet. MTFA Architecture's James Clark, AIA, led this project as principal of former firm CUH2A, and related services were provided by MTFA Architecture.

Famed architect John Russell Pope designed the historic site and building. Adjacent to the rotunda, new glass elevators and light bridges connect each floor and each wing. The elevators were designed as floating exhibits within the historic space and thereby coexist respectfully within the historic architecture and an environment of science innovation.

Grand waiting rooms on the first floor were renovated to preserve the historic architecture while serving today's need for orientation and meeting spaces. New science exhibition rooms were developed for the second level. Bright new office spaces were designed for the third and fourth floors to replace disorienting dark corridors that linked inefficient office spaces. While retaining the beauty of the historic spaces, the ambiance of the building now resonates the museum's passion for science.

This project won the Honor Award for Architecture from Virginia Society American Institute of Architecture.