Silman, A TYLin Company, provided structural and preservation engineering services for the renovation of the historic Virginia State Capitol Building, along with a new below grade Visitors Center extension for the “Temple on the Hill.”
A U.S. National Landmark, the Virginia State Capitol Building in Richmond, Virginia, was originally designed and built in the vision of Thomas Jefferson in the late 17th century. Using modern construction techniques of the time to replicate a Roman Temple from 16 B.C., the building achieved an unprecedented classical style and changed the trajectory of government and commercial buildings for centuries to come.
Silman provided guidance during the Capitol Square master plan and performed investigations to inform renovation recommendations and minimize the impact on the historic landmark. The project team then completed a complex renovation and a new below-grade expansion to accommodate visitors.
Scope of work included assessing the ability of the existing structure to accommodate increased loading and addressing several areas where structural modifications to historic fabric were necessary to integrate new systems into the building.
Using a sophisticated assemblage of foundation elements to support the restored landscaping and protect the historic resources, Silman also facilitated the placement of the new underground extension directly against the historic south entrance at a depth of up to 28 feet below the existing foundations.
- The Capitol Square master plan included a comprehensive investigation of 27 buildings and the surrounding landscapes on the historic campus.
- Original Jeffersonian-era masonry vaults, exterior portico, and load-bearing wall construction required investigation and verification of capacity using sensitive design and detailing to accommodate new openings.
- Silman protected the historic structure by implementing careful consideration of construction sequencing and incorporated contingency measures in the design of foundation operations, coupled with real-time movement monitoring.
- Learn more about the preservation of the Virginia State Capitol Building.
Image credit: Tom Crane