Duke University, Adaptive Reuse of Old Art Museum

Durham, North Carolina

  • FIRM

    Clark Nexsen, PC


    Duke University

  • AREA

    53,614 sq.ft.





The design philosophy for the renovation of the Old Art Museum at Duke University was to integrate the building’s past with its present. The goal was not to completely restore this building to its original 1929 form, but instead to pull all the pieces together from its beginning, its transformation in the ‘60s, and its current characteristics.

In keeping with ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$121.24FEATURED IN2008 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior RenovationSUB CATEGORYRenovation philosophy, the exterior facade was restored to its original 1929 appearance, and two interior stairs were recreated in their original locations and designed to incorporate historic elements. The original high ceilings were maintained to accentuate the large, historic windows. Interior renovations included new terrazzo floors, wood mouldings and flat, arched openings to replicate a Georgian-revival classroom building.

The Old Art Museum at Duke University stands as a welcoming, history-filled home to the offices and classrooms of the College of Arts & Sciences. The facility was designed to be flexible in the future by accommodating classrooms and offices for additional liberal-arts programs. The two main floors provide about 30,000 square feet of the building’s total 53,614 square feet.

The museum is seeking LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.