Architect: Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Client: North Carolina State University
Project Team: Donna Francis, Don Kranbuehl, Clymer Cease, Irvin Pearce, Rob Harkey
Size: 51,000 SF
Photographs: JWest Productions
A three-story, 50,000-square-foot classroom and research building at North Carolina State University, with lecture halls, laboratories, advising offices, a television production studio, video editing suites, and an internet café. The L-shaped structure defines a new campus plaza. This project received a 2011 National AIA CAE Facility Design Merit Award.
Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee sought to preserve one of the oldest spaces on campus—a 1914 masonry building that once housed steel shop classes—and update it in a way that sets off its history and texture. The architects gutted the structure, removing gypsum board walls and sandblasting the brick beneath. They cleared two intersecting paths through the wings on the main level, echoed by similar paths on the ground level. Where the corridors meet, PBC+ L removed a third-floor bay of restrooms to bring the lobby to double height and allow light from the clerestory windows to filter down. At the main stair, they cut away a section of floor to open up views of all three stories. Visitors descend the stair to a glassed-in café pavilion, which serves as Park Shops’ new main entrance. Contrasting old materials with new, the architects left narrow gaps between the brickwork and some of the ceiling edges, so that thin strips of light wash over the bricks and reveal their texture.