Raleigh Convention Center Selects Architectural Firm to Design Upcoming Expansion
Thursday, January 25, 2024, 9am
Architecture firm TVS, in association with RATIO Design (RATIO), has been selected to design the $387.5-million Raleigh Convention Center expansion in downtown Raleigh. Read on about this exciting news via press release content below.
The Raleigh Convention Center has selected international architecture firm TVS, in association with RATIO Design (RATIO), to design its $387.5-million expansion, as well as the relocation and redesign of Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh. Red Hat Amphitheater will shift one block south to accommodate the convention center’s new building. The amphitheater is slated to open in 2026 with the convention center expansion to be completed in 2028.
The City of Raleigh, which owns and operates the Raleigh Convention Center and Red Hat Amphitheater, posted a request for proposals earlier this year. After reviewing submissions, the Raleigh Convention Center selected TVS and RATIO because of its expansive international design experience, demonstrated success and innovation in venue design and knowledge of the existing building and downtown Raleigh.
TVS, based in Atlanta, is the architect of the existing Raleigh Convention Center’s current facility and has designed convention centers and expansions in Las Vegas, New York City, Nashville and globally in India and China.
RATIO is an international design firm with deep roots in Raleigh. In addition to national convention center, civic and amphitheater experience, RATIO’s ongoing local projects include Raleigh’s East Civic Tower and PNC Arena renovations.
The Raleigh Convention Center expansion will add approximately 80,000 square feet of flexible event space and 30 meeting rooms.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to build two landmark entertainment spaces which will continue to draw attention to Raleigh as a premiere destination in the Southeast and beyond. The additional event space, thoughtfully designed, will serve as a bridge to booking larger, more economically meaningful events while maintaining our reputation for excellent hospitality and commitment to sustainable and accessible design and operations. The renewed amphitheater will draw on its existing reputation as an artist favorite,” said Kerry Painter, director/general manager of The Complex, which is home to the Raleigh Convention Center and Red Hat Amphitheater, as well as the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts and Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.
“Expansion of the Raleigh Convention Center will considerably increase the opportunities to recruit and secure larger city-wide meetings, conventions and sports groups to Wake County that are currently out of reach with our current infrastructure,” said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau/Visit Raleigh. “The Raleigh Convention Center expansion was one of the top priorities in the recent 10-year Wake County Destination Strategic Plan and fulfills the highest and best use for projected direct economic impact. We are thrilled to see this project moving forward and will continue to work with the City to ensure its success.”
“The economic and cultural importance of this expansion project for the City of Raleigh and its community cannot be overstated,” says TVS principal Rob Svedberg, FAIA. “TVS is thrilled to be able to work with the City and our partner RATIO to create a project that speaks to the goals and aspirations of Raleigh.”
This expansion news comes after a record-breaking fiscal year 2023 for the Raleigh Convention Center, in which over 100,000 hotel room nights were booked from convention-related business in conjunction with the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau/Visit Raleigh. In October 2023, plans for a 550-room Omni convention hotel were announced with an expected opening date of 2027.
About the Raleigh Convention Center
The Raleigh Convention Center boasts 500,000 bright and airy square feet of LEED Silver-certified meeting space conveniently located in downtown Raleigh, steps from the region’s most popular cultural and culinary attractions. An industry leader in sustainable, accessible and inclusive guest services and practices, the center offers robust tech amenities (including a dedicated IT team), expansive catering options featuring locally sourced ingredients and GBAC STAR-certified cleaning and sanitization.
The Raleigh Convention Center has been awarded the IAVM Education and Service Award, the VenuesNow Excellence in Concessions Award and the Exhibitor Magazine Centers of Excellence Award for four consecutive years.
Along with sister venues Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts, Red Hat Amphitheater and the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, the Raleigh Convention Center is proud to belong to the City of Raleigh’s Convention and Performing Arts Complex. The Complex is Raleigh’s premier portfolio of convention and entertainment venues with over 1.3 million guests annually. raleighconvention.com.
TVS is an award-winning architecture and interior design firm headquartered in Atlanta with a global footprint. The firm’s experts bring honed perspectives to workplace interiors and corporate office, hospitality, cultural arts, convention center, mixed-use, sports, education, retail, healthcare and multifamily residential projects of every scale. This multidisciplinary, multi-market diversity equips TVS’ designers and strategists with a unique ecosystem of ideas and resources that best support a client’s goals.
Founded in 1968, the 100% employee-owned firm also has offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Tampa. TVS delivers high impact environments around the world. For more, visit tvsdesign.com or join the social conversation @tvsdesign.
About RATIO Design
RATIO Design is an award-winning design firm with studios in Indianapolis, Champaign, Raleigh, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Denver, offering services in architecture, historic preservation, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and graphic design. Founded in 1982, its collaborative studios combine professionals from all disciplines to work on higher education, K12 education, workplace, civic and cultural, parks and recreation, hospitality, sports and venues, residential, mixed-use and health and life sciences projects. To date, RATIO has completed work in more than 41 states in the U.S. and 15 countries around the world. Notable projects underway include the Five-star CairoHouse Hotel in Egypt, the high-rise Convention Center Hotel in Indianapolis, the East Civic Tower in Raleigh, the Elanco Global Headquarters in Indianapolis and the IU Health new downtown hospital in Indianapolis.