Wilson Butler Architects Honored at the 13th Annual International Design Awards for Richmond’s Altria Theater

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Altria Theater

Richmond, VA–The historic restoration of Altria Theater was awarded Silver at the 13th Annual International Design Awards (IDA) in the category of Interior Design: Renovation.

Wilson Butler Architects’ work included the restoration of the theater’s Egyptian-styled grand ballroom and the enhancement of performance spaces, including the refurbishing of the original theater seats. Interior light fixtures, paint, tiles, finishes, and the lobby fountain were authentically restored. The building’s five-story façade, including its historic terra cotta details and decorative tile work, were brought back to their original 1920s grandeur.

“The Altria Theater is a building with so much character, history, and stories to share,” said Wilson Butler’s lead interior designer Rebecca Durante, NCIDQ, LEED AP, IIDA. “This restoration presented the opportunity to elevate the theater-goer’s experience once we began to peel back the layers of paint, add amenities, and go beyond the level of hospitality expected by today’s patron.”

IDA received thousands of designs submitted by companies and designers from more than 90 countries. Entries were submitted in five major design categories: Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Product Design, and Fashion Design. The international jury evaluated the entries based not only on the highest of current design standards and trends, but also seeking out truly visionary designers who would take the creative leap and lead the way into the future.

“We are thrilled that the IDA has chosen to recognize our magnificent theater, and the incredible work that Rebecca and her team from Wilson Butler Architects did. When we started the renovations, it was really important to maintain the integrity of the original character of the building and be consistent with the period design. I believe that we achieved that goal,” said C.T. Hill, a member of the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Altria Theater Construction Committee that oversaw the renovation.

Altria Theater is managed by ASM Global, the world leader in venue management. The company’s local team also manages two other Richmond venues including, Dominion Energy Center ​and Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.

Originally opening its doors as a mosque in 1927, and completing a major renovation in 2014, Altria Theater was designed in Moorish Revival architectural style and is one of the best known and most striking buildings in Richmond, Virginia. It is located just west of the city’s downtown in the heart of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus, directly across from historic Monroe Park, and is the largest theater between New York and Atlanta. The 200,000 square foot theater has a seating capacity of 3,600 and hosts an enormously successful Broadway in Richmond series, the nationally acclaimed Richmond Forum, as well as countless concerts, kids shows, and comedians. In addition to the theater, the building boasts a beautiful Egyptian-styled ballroom and an abundance of functional space for corporate events, fundraisers, weddings, and private parties.