Capital Region Airport Commission


Richmond, VA




Architecture, Interior Design, Experiential Design and Wayfinding


2022 SEC-AAAE Commercial Airport Project of the Year

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Gresham Smith’s long-lasting relationship with Richmond International Airport (RIC) began as a vision and long-range development plan in 1994. Due to record-breaking growth over recent years, Capital Region Airport Commission elected to expand the terminal’s Concourse A and called on Gresham Smith to lead architecture, interior design, experiential design and wayfinding, and construction administration services for the comprehensive project. The expansion meets the airport’s increasing demand for additional gates, as well as passenger holdrooms and amenities.

square-foot addition

The two-story, 7-gate expansion at Concourse A creates an additional 60,000 square feet for airline operations, passenger holdrooms, concessions space, and new public restrooms, as well as tenant space for airline ramp operations on the ground level of the concourse. The largely brick facade features insulated metal wall panels and a curtain wall with floor-to-ceiling glass that allows light to enter the building and provides uninterrupted views of the airfield. The design is an extension of our existing architecture for RIC, with the materials and color palette established through our previous work at the airport.

passengers walking down the concourse in terminal A at Richmond International Airport

Inside, our design also includes all-new LED lighting and bright, continuous terrazzo flooring that is extended from the existing concourse. A vaulted ceiling throughout the circulation areas features continuous clerestory windows that bring daylight into the space, while floor-to-ceiling glass throughout the concourse provides an abundance of natural light and views to the airfield and runway.

the entrance to the men’s restroom in terminal A at Richmond International Airport

Clerestory windows also bring natural light into the new public restrooms, which feature a family restroom, a mother’s room for nursing, and co-located janitor closets. As airport restrooms are fully cleaned multiple times a day and passengers are always present, the layout for each restroom—Men’s and Women’s—is divided into two full compartments so that one side of the Women’s restroom, for example, can be closed for cleaning, while the other side remains open to passengers. Often, airports do not have this functionality for cleaning, forcing passengers to either wait or walk to another set of restrooms. The facade, layout, and finishes were completely reinvented for the expansion and will serve as a prototype for future restroom renovations at the airport.