City of Charleston / Charleston Civic Center


Location : Charleston, West Virginia

Scope: Design

Size: 100,000 SF

GBBN was invited to compete for the opportunity to renovate and expand the existing Civic Center and Exhibit Hall in Charleston, West Virginia. The renovation will be a transformative project that will significantly upgrade the existing facility and common areas and elevate the presence of the Civic Center within the urban context.

The goal of our design proposal was to enhance and further articulate the concepts described by the Civic Center’s criteria architects Odell. This development refines the design of the interior while also advancing the image of the building to suggest and reflect the unique characteristics of West Virginia’s diverse geography. The strategic development of the exterior envelope not only supports a memorable image and experience, but also serves to provide a building that aligns with cost requirements.

The two new major lobby spaces relate to both the city and river, projecting the scale and importance of this regional cultural asset. The sweep of the public circulation path that occurs is reflected vertically through the building, separating the coliseum visitors from the exhibit hall and ballroom visitors while the façade abstractly echoes the sweep of the rolling mountains and curvilinear path of the river using a combination of fins and glazing. By shaping and stepping the roof plane in a similar manner, daylight is allowed to penetrate the building via clerestories that help the visitor navigate the building.