Duke University, Smith Warehouse

Durham, North Carolina

The 90,000-square-foot renovation of Duke's Smith Warehouse accommodates office, program and instructional spaces for more than 15 departments, and includes a business center and cafe. The goal was to create a flexible building with workspace standards to accommodate different groups with minimal reconfiguration.

This historic ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$75.73FEATURED IN2011 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYStudent Centers/Service Areas tobacco warehouse, rich with restored brick and exposed timber, was foreboding in its scale and repetition. The architect sought to organize the spaces with an interesting but methodical system of wayfinding. To aid orientation, programmatically diverse groups were arranged along a sinuous wall that parallels primary circulation on the first floor. The design integrates industrial-type materials sympathetic to the space and uses distinct, bright colors to denote each "bay." The colors also integrate into signage and wayfinding cues. Multiple meeting spaces range in size and configuration to accommodate a range of instructional styles.

As an indicator of the success of this design, this project, conceived as "swing" space while a more permanent campus solution was designed and built, now will have at least an 8- to 10-year lifespan.