This LEED Silver certified project includes a 100,000 SF convention center and a 600-car parking garage. Overlooking the Cape Fear River in Historic Downtown Wilmington, the project contributes to the recent revitalization efforts, drawing people along the northern section of the Riverwalk. The project rehabilitates a brownfield site, which was an abandoned shipping station, and transforms it into a community showpiece.

The exterior and interior design of the facility evokes nautical references in an abstract and timeless manner, cleverly incorporating regional elements. The facility includes a 30,000 SF exhibit hall, allowing the City to hold larger exhibits than previous facilities enabled, thus raising the profile of the region as a tourist destination. Flexibility was a key component throughout the design of the facility. An outdoor exhibit space allows for different types of exhibits, and plans for future expansion. An event lawn further adds to the flexibility of the facility, adding a park-like feel to the site that can be enjoyed by the public.

The sleek and contemporary pre-function space invites people to lounge and enjoy the breathtaking views of the adjacent river and marina. The elegant grand ballroom serves another need to the community, comfortably serving 1,000 people. Operable walls can subdivide the space into up to six smaller meeting rooms. Additional smaller-sized meeting rooms complete the needs for the business community. A full-service kitchen caters to the facility. The parking garage allows an additional way for users to access the site.

PROJECT NAME: Wilmington Convention Center

LOCATION: Wilmington, NC

ASSOCIATED ARCHITECT: RTKL

AWARDS: Convention South New & Renovated Property Reader’s Choice Award, Lower Cape Fear Outstanding Stewardship Award, AIA Wilmington Design Honor Award