Technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Newport News economy. With a highly skilled workforce and a comparatively low cost of doing business, the region needed a smart, connected environment to advance goals for development and growth. Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center partnered with Clark Nexsen and WM Jordan to design a state-of-the-art research facility that sets a collaborative, visionary tone for the growing Tech Center Research Park campus. Known as Tech Center One, this 100,000 square foot building is the first of 11 outlined in the master plan, also developed by Clark Nexsen. The long-term vision for Tech Center is to create a world-class research park with urban qualities for a “live, work, play” community.
A two-story lobby welcomes employees and visitors and conveys a contemporary image. The monumental stair is outfitted with slate treads and a cable railing The first floor also features coworking office spaces, with open desks and a modular layout suited for informal collaboration, competitions, or investor meetups. Parking is available around the back and front of the facility on Hogan Drive, providing dual entrances for tenants and those utilizing the research space. The overall design of the second and third floors offers the flexibility to lease private office spaces or an entire floor to larger teams and companies.
Aligning with the surrounding neighborhood, the materials used in the design of Tech Center One complement the nearby developments and establish an aesthetic connection to Virginia Tech. The exterior combines brick, western red cedar plank, and Hokie stone, while dark graphite metal panels throughout the structure cultivate a rich, high tech appearance. With a design goal of crafting a narrow footprint, the building is slender in appearance, maximizing daylight in the interior spaces while offering substantial views outside.
Located in the city’s only area zoned for research, Building One will serve as a catalyst to strengthen the connection between the academic community and private industry. Its proximity to Jefferson Labs and NASA Langley will provide an opportunity for private firms to turn research into practical applications and commercial ventures. Completing a vision for a technological infrastructure Newport News did not previously have, Tech Center Research Park facilitates partnership and collaboration both within the campus and beyond, tapping into local universities and neighboring research centers.