Virginia Commonwealth University
Arts and Innovation Academic Building



Arts and Innovation Academic Building


Virginia Commonwealth University


Richmond, VA


Est. 2026


212,700 GSF


Pursuing LEED Silver


Campus Innovations, The Arts

Partner Firm

Glavé + Holmes Architecture

The VCU Arts and Innovation Academic Building (AIAB) is a crucible for creativity, experimentation, and life-long learning. The 8-story complex will combine VCU’s arts and innovation academic programs into one single location including new collaborative opportunities for Theatre, Music, Dance, Communication Arts, and Cinema. For the first time, these distinct disciplines will work together using cutting edge technology to create new art forms, inventive product prototypes, and find new ways to innovate that will impact the university and its urban context for generations to come.

Embracing an Urban Context

Recognizing VCU as a seamlessly urban university, the building folds the city into the building. The AIAB marks the intersection of two major boulevards in a profoundly open and welcoming way through main public spaces as well as maker spaces, studios, and performance venues that are highly transparent. These features create an outward looking building that animates the Richmond Arts District neighborhood.

In contrast to the orthogonality of the city grid, the folding inward of the building is expressed through curved forms, introducing organic, diagonal connections (both horizontal and vertical) throughout the building. The floors are organized around a continuous vertical “vortex” where each floor is identifiable and contains a diverse mix of activities yet remains connected to the front door and floors above and below.

Project Consultants

Structural Engineer | Dunbar PLLC

Mechanical / Electrical Engineer | Altieri Sebor Wieber, LLC

Civil Engineer | Dewberry Engineers, Inc.

Landscape Architect | Waterstreet Studio

Lighting Consultant | LAM Partners, Inc.

Theater Consultant | Theatre Projects Consultants, Inc.

Acoustical Engineer | Kirkegaard

AV Consultant | Kirkegaard

Sustainability Consultant | Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC

Cost Estimator | Venue. Consulting

IT / Security Consultant | Convergent Technologies Design Group, Inc.

Life Safety / Code / FP Consultant | GHD. Inc.

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