First Freedom Center

Project Summary

The First Freedom Center’s mission is to advance the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Situated in downtown Richmond’s historic Shockoe Slip, the First Freedom Center utilizes shared space with two hotels, showcasing a 7,000 square foot courtyard created by the U-shaped building.

Timmon Group’s landscape architects collaborated with PFVS Architects to create a pocket plaza which invites the public to the grand front steps of the hotel and Freedom Center while still maintaining private and flexible space for hotel visitors within the gated courtyard. Elaborate brick edging, granite stairs, and ornamental iron fencing reinforce the historic context in the courtyard. The plaza displays vibrant native plants with foliage, scents and textures that appeal to the senses. Seat walls with raised planters, tables, chairs, and potted plants reflect the space’s flexibility. All elements of the landscape design work in concert with the architecture to create a palette for the courtyard that reflects the historic character of Richmond’s Shockoe Slip.