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Philip Morris, Inc.

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1964, operations center, Ulrich Franzen and Associates. 1973, manufacturing center, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. 4001 Commerce Rd. (Bells Rd. exit off I-95). Portions open to the public for tours

Philip Morris, Inc., conducts one of the world's largest cigarette research and manufacturing operations on this 200-acre site along I-95 in South Richmond. This campus of connected buildings also clearly demonstrates the company's corporate leadership in good architecture. Among them is a low-rise operations building by Ulrich Franzen Associates and the sprawling, 1.6 million-square-foot manufacturing center, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Stylistically the group of blocky forms arranged in an overlapping pattern might be called late International Style. Materials are the usual palette of brick, concrete, and glass. Of interest is the attempt at sun screens with pierced concrete panels. While the impact of the buildings has been subdued by the planting of large shade trees, a strikingly large information pylon graphically depicts the company's product logos. This feature was designed by the internationally known graphic design firm of Chermayeff and Geismar.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Philip Morris, Inc.", [Richmond, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 285-286.

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