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Submission Deadline: Thursday, August 25, 2022 at 4:00PM EST


This REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS is for Architectural Services for planning, architectural design, and construction phase services for the restoration, renovation, and addition to the historic Lamar House Hotel / Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Lamar House Hotel/Bijou Theatre is located at 803 South Gay Street, at the corner of Cumberland Avenue, in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. The building was constructed in multiple phases. The Lamar House was completed as a Georgian style building in 1817, enlarged with two additions to the rear of the building in 1850-52, and substantially remodeled with the construction of the Bijou Theatre in 1909 (which replaced the earlier hotel additions and necessitated removal of the central bays of Lamar House to accommodate the theater’s lobby). Although considerable change has occurred within Lamar House, the theater remains largely intact and reflective of its period of construction. Lamar House Hotel / Bijou Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Presently, the Bijou functions as a performing arts center with seating for 750, with the Lamar House Hotel providing support space for theater operations.

Primary objectives for the project include:

  • Renovate the second balcony in the auditorium. This historic part of the building will once again be utilized and permit additional balcony seating, increasing the theatre’s capacity while also telling the story of this significant space.
  • Renovate and utilize the fourth floor of the Lamar House & Bijou Theatre, an area of the building that has not been touched in more than 50 years. Once addressed, this floor will provide access to the second balcony, as well as improved office facilities for the Bijou’s staff.
  • Renovate the third floor of the Lamar House & Bijou Theatre into a multi-use space to increase our programming capacity and allow us to provide accommodations for educational initiatives, black box performances, and receptions.
  • Renovate and create additional lobby spaces to improve the patron experience including: creating better flow in and out of the auditorium, increasing the number and comfort of bathrooms, relocating the box office for expedited service, and adding bar spaces to reduce wait times.
  • Heighten the auditorium’s sound and sightline quality by flying speakers from the ceiling, allowing for a more even sound mix and an uninterrupted view of the stage from seats on the sides of the auditorium.
  • Restore the auditorium ceiling back to its classical revivalist glory with a chandelier in the center medallion and original filigree adornments throughout.
  • Restore historical elements of the building’s exterior including: a period and size appropriate blade and marquee and reconstructing the original ornamental plaster relief tiles and perched eagles on the arched entrance.
  • Improve accessibility and safety of the building by constructing an elevator to service all floors and levels of the Lamar House & Bijou Theatre.
  • Construct a 3-story addition to the Lamar House to house modern amenities that service the second, third and fourth floors of the Lamar House to heighten patron experience and reduce wait times.

For more details, including proposal and submission guidance, download full RFQ by clicking box below

Questions & Answers

Please direct all RFQ questions to The deadline to submit questions is August 11, 2022 at 4 PM ET

Question: Who completed the initial 3D model used in the brochure? Will that firm/individual have involvement in the project as it moves forward?

Answer: Whitney Manahan was commissioned to create the models in 2019 for our fundraising pitch book. These models are tools to communicate potential uses for existing spaces to donors, but are not meant to convey any firm concept, architectural, or construction plans for this project. At this time we have not selected any firms or individuals to be involved in this project.


Posted 7/26/22

Question: Can you clarify the extent of your existing building documentation

Answer: In 2018 we hired Mills + Schnoering Architects to conduct and produce a Historic Structure Report detailing the current condition of the Bijou Theatre & Lamar House Hotel. That report may be viewed here.


We also have a set of Architectural, Structural, Theatrical Rigging, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, and Electrical drawings that were created by Brewer Ingram Fuller Architects Inc. in 2005. The architectural drawings demonstrating the current layout of the theatre and hotel may be viewed here.


Posted on 7/26/22 

Question: Should we plan on including a cost estimator on our team, or is estimating being handled by the CM?

Answer: The cost estimating will be handled by the Construction Manager. The CM will provide estimating throughout the design phases and the design team does not need to include an estimator on the design team.


Posted 7/26/22, updated on 8/17/22.


Question: Do you already have a partnership with a local civil engineering firm?

Answer: No, we do not currently have a relationship with a civil engineering firm


Posted 7/26/22

Question: Has the Bijou targeted a construction budget for the project?

Answer: No


Posted 8/17/22 

Question: Do tab dividers and blank sides of sheets count in the total page count?

Answer: No


Posted 8/17/22

Question: Please confirm that Bijou and the Restaurant vendor will provide point of sale design/equipment

Answer: Yes


Posted 8/17/22

Question: Has the Bijou determined a design schedule?

Answer: No


Posted 8/17/22

Question: Will the Bijou be pursuing LEED certification for the project and/or has the Bijou targeted any specific sustainable design/construction requirements?

Answer: No


Posted 8/17/22

Question: Please confirm the need for the following design services: Security, Telecommunications, Food Services (restaurant + theatre), and Geotechnical Engineering

Answer: All of the following will be retained by the owner

– Security (cameras, door hardware, and other electronic security equipment)

– Telecommunications: Building backbone/infrastructure and distribution

– Food Service – Restaurant: For redesign of the restaurant kitchen/bar.

– Food Service – Theater/Lobby bars: For new bar equipment design/specification.

– Geotechnical Engineering


Posted 8/17/22

Question: Has there been a comprehensive hazardous materials investigation prepared for the Lamar House Hotel & Bijou Theatre? If hazardous materials are present, can we assume that environmental consulting and corresponding abatement/remediation documentation will be by Owner?

Answer: Some historical reports are available, which may need to be supplemented. Owner will compile this information and also retain consultant for corresponding abatement/remediation documentation.


Posted 8/17/22

Question: Will the Owner be seeking Federal and/or State historic tax credits?

Answer: We are currently exploring and considering tax credits, but have not made a determination at this time.


Posted 8/17/22