Roanoke, VA

111 Franklin Plaza

Demand for a fresh, contemporary image led the owners of 111 Franklin Plaza, a large office building in downtown Roanoke, to commission Hughes Associates A&E to design a lobby facelift. Originally constructed in 1985 for a single corporate tenant, the building is now home to a mix of financial and legal tenants. In order to attract more technology companies and similar businesses to its vacant floors, the building needed to reflect today’s collaborative business environment.

First on the list of improvements was a new main entrance at the rear of the building. With its enclosed security desk, drab colors, and dated finishes, the existing space was neither welcoming nor inspiring. Following construction of a new parking deck adjacent to the rear of the building, the building’s back door, formerly the loading dock, had become the de facto main entrance. A maze of cramped and circuitous hallways brought daily users and visitors to the elevator bank in the center of the building. The security detail relied on cameras and speakers to monitor incoming traffic.

Our design created a new dynamic entry area at the rear of the first floor, replacing the corridors with a gently curved path leading to the elevators and security desk, and repurposed the original lobby by creating a sleek café-like atmosphere. A structural column is concealed behind an elliptical enclosure that directs a flow of traffic through the space.

New finishes include durable wood and marble-patterned flooring, a contemporary color palette, and a custom wood and steel check-in desk. Sound clouds hover over the old lobby, pierced by pendant lights, becoming large acoustical chandeliers.