The Pavilion Convention Center was conceived during the 1970s as part of a strategy to develop a year-round market for Virginia Beach's many oceanfront hotel rooms. Positioned prominently at the end of the Virginia Beach–Norfolk Expressway, the building was also intended to serve as a kind of monumental gateway to the resort strip. The resulting design is a highly serviceable if somewhat uninspired reworking of Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum (1966–1972) in Forth Worth, Texas. Ten white, steelframed barrel vaults with end walls of darktinted glass unfurl rhythmically along the south side of the highway, effectively screening the rectangular exhibition halls and 1,000-seat theater from view. The main entrance faces the parking lot on the rear elevation. From this perspective, the unfenestrated walls of precast concrete panels appear particularly dreary.
The Pavilion was demolished in 2005 for the construction of a new convention center that opened in 2007.