Hey, NoVa — in case you missed it, Capital One has put a state-of-the-art concert hall in your backyard.
Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia is a towering architectural feat, boasting features that are impressive on paper and staggering in person. The new venue, which will work in partnership with ArtsFairfax to bolster the Tysons artistic community, boasts 125,000 square feet of space, Metro accessibility, a rooftop beer garden and dog park and a host of thoughtful design elements.
From the second you make it up the last stair in the entryway and reach the Atrium, the experience is striking. HGA and their partners (Mueller Associates, Stages Consultants, Thornton Tomasetti, Arup, Whiting-Turner) have created a main space that’s warmth and intimacy isn’t dampened by it’s massive scale, despite 57 ft. tall ceilings and approximately 24,000 square ft. of Virginia granite flooring. The space has a 1,300 person standing capacity, but more impressive is how the Atrium is specifically engineered to maintain small, interpersonal moments.
“A priority was intimacy, writ large,” says architect Scott Cryer. Even masked and in a crowded room of journalists, he gleefully points out how comfortably we can hear each other. Warm, natural wood paneling on the walls hides an extensive acoustics setup, resulting in clear, unhindered conversations.
Cryer is the associate vice president and principal of HGA, the design firm Capital One worked with on this project. He’s LEED certified, a board member on ArtsFairfax, a local and a parent. Each of those identities individually influenced this project — Cryer says he knows he’s done a good job if his kids think it’s cool.
“As a local, I pour all my effort into improving the culture that my family can enjoy within a ten minute drive.” Cryer says. “And it’s exciting because I think Fairfax is transforming now, I think they’re understanding the county’s importance of art and placemaking.”
At its core, Capital One’s new hall is mindful of the land it sits on. The building is designed to minimize its environmental impact and uplift the surrounding arts community. A sawtooth roof design allows ten trees to be planted on the roof, which are watered with recycled rainwater and feed back into a recycled grey water sprinkler system. Low impact design materials reflect light and maintain temperature within the Hall. Several of the Hall’s amenities are offered to the community at a free or reduced rate, from its public access skygarden to dedicated venue space for Fairfax County’s non-profit art organizations through ArtsFairfax.
Even executive chef Linton Romero is mindful of the mission. His concessions menu includes cheesecake with peach and bourbon compote, an homage to the peach orchard that used to bear fruit where the Hall now sits. Romero is a veteran of Michelin starred restaurants in France, Napa, and NYC, and now has turned his expertise towards curating a fine dining experience to make Capital One Hall’s concessions unlike any other.
Romero staffs a team of 60-80 people across his main kitchen, cold kitchen, execution area and multiple concessions stands. They have the capacity to do 500 plated meals in the main Atrium, and approximately 960 plated meals across all the Hall’s seating areas.
“It’s kind of crazy, right?” He laughs. But like every other element in Capital One Hall, the intentionality isn’t lost in the scale. Romero plans on having special meal or dessert options that complement what the venue is showing that night — whether it be thematic or, say, season opener Josh Groban’s favorite dish.
“We wanted to take our own twist on it,” Romero says. Other permanent snacks feature local businesses. A concessions staple, the popcorn, comes directly from “America’s Favorite” on Dove Street in Alexandria.
The private event rooms, boardroom, blackbox theater and terrace space are accoutrements to the most impressive main event; the theatre itself. The Main Theatre is elegant and roomy, integrating the seamless natural wood design used throughout the Hall to create a 1,600 person capacity Broadway-esque experience. Clever acoustic handiwork makes it whisper quiet and just as cozy as any other space.
Separate from the wonders of the rest of the Hall, the Main Theatre will provide an unparalleled viewing experience for those lucky enough to catch it’s inaugural season; a lineup that includes Waitress, Fiddler on the Roof, comedian Taylor Tomlinson and a plethora of holiday specials. The expansive, elevated experience available at Capital One Hall leaves us sure of one thing: this is a venue for locals, by locals and with world-class appeal.
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