Commonwealth Architects

RIVERE(SM) Ecological Center

Size: 12,000 sf
Services: 3D VisualizationArchitectureInterior Design

Commonwealth Architects provided conceptual architectural, interior design and 3d visualization services for the proposed RIVERE℠ Ecological Center, an industrial modern high-tech facility with indoor and outdoor resources to support RIVERE℠’s four pillars of research, technology, education, and ecoculture and promote the Rappahannock SmartRiver concept.

A key feature of the design is a flexible interior layout to accommodate fluctuating demands with ease and efficiency, transitioning between office spaces, research labs, and educational facilities as needed, empowering RIVERE℠ to pursue its multifaceted objectives. A two-story glass façade envelops an exposed steel structure, blending industrial aesthetics with a connection to its natural surroundings. Two stories of exterior deck extend towards the river, providing a place for reflection as well a large outdoor learning and community space.

The center exemplifies RIVERESM’s steadfast commitment to sustainability and community integration. Thoughtful use of local materials, from the stone and brick façades to shells embedded in the aggregate of concrete floors, pays homage to the center’s site on the banks of the Rappahannock River while enhancing its aesthetic appeal and cultural significance. Solar panels, a geothermal system and a green roof further underscore the project’s dedication to environmental responsibility and long-term sustainability.

The adjacent historic Embrey Power Plant is anticipated to be adapted for reused as an event space with an indoor café, restaurant and a rooftop terrace for dining and entertainment with a picturesque view up and down the Rappahannock River.  This facility can be utilized by the RIVERESM Ecological Center, Silk Mill and Woolen Mill event facilities.

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