The Locks Tower is a 215,000sf, 11-story mixed-use complex in Richmond, Virginia. It is located on what was previously an industrial site one block South of the Richmond downtown on the Haxall Canal, a millrace dug in 1789 that has now become the popular Richmond Riverfront Canal Walk. The project consists of three components: a precast high rise building, a precast parking garage partially underneath the tower, and a 6-story brick residential building along the Canal Walk frontage. There are 237 market rate apartment units, 359 parking spaces and 9,250 sf of commercial space within the complex.
Completed in early 2021, this apartment tower is the first building in Richmond to use a precast architectural concrete structural system. The precast wall and floor panels function both as a structural system and the exterior finish cladding, with an integrated continuous insulation core that exceeds the energy code requirement insulation value by 20%.
The design for the tower uses a white architectural concrete with a sandblasted finish to expose fine aggregate. The result is a crisp white concrete finish that harkens to both classical modernism and the utilitarian history of this site. The steel canopies and balconies fabricated from aluminum channel and bar stock relate to the industrial components from the other five converted historic warehouse and industrial buildings on the greater Locks Apartment complex. The primary apartment windows are an aluminum window wall system with floor-to-ceiling glazing. The interior of the apartment units retain select areas of exposed concrete and utilities to complete the industrial loft aesthetic.
The parking garage is a precast concrete structure that is screened with a custom western red cedar screen with a unique optical pattern. The dark grey brick canal building caps the end of the parking garage and provides an active use along the Canal Walk to enliven the public pedestrian way.