Duke University, Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center

Durham, North Carolina


Centerbrook Architects and Planners


Duke University


48,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Design Team
Mark Simon (Partner in Charge); Alan Paradis (Project Manager); Paolo Campos (Job Captain); STIMSON (Landscape); LHC Structural Engineers (Structural); Dewberry (MEP/FP); HDR (Civil)

The Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center is adjacent to Duke’s Gothic west campus entry and admissions centers. Celebrating Duke’s storied past and promising future, it welcomes visitors at an Events Center connecting to a Meeting Pavilion, the Forlines House’s meeting rooms, and the Alumni Association offices.

The four-building complex was conceived as a pedestrian village within woodland, organized around a cloistered court. This reflects Duke’s “University in the forest” identity, concentrating buildings to keep surrounding woods continuous. The place has a human scale, comfortably serving both large and small groups.

The courtyard and buildings reflect Duke’s history and character, but through modern construction. Duke’s own stone is the Events Center’s exterior base below precast stone, as seen on Duke’s campus. The masonry wings contrast with the Events Pavilion’s central steel and glass pavilion; this juxtaposition is reversed in the attached Meeting Pavilion, with glass wings and solid center.

Additional Information


Post-Secondary Citation

Featured in

2020 Architectural Portfolio

Interior category

Welcome Centers

Product suppliers specified

Carpet by Bentley Prince Street
Flooring by A.P.C. Cork, Inc.
Brick/Masonry by Cast Stone Systems, Inc.
Brick/Masonry by Cloud Ceramics
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Ceilings by ACGI
Doors by Marvin Windows & Doors
Elevators by Otis Elevator
Insulation by Johns Manville
Roofing by Sarnafil
Windows by Marvin Windows & Doors
Lighting & Accessories by Portfolio
Lighting & Accessories by McGraw-Edison
Lighting & Accessories by Lithonia Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Gotham Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Juno Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by EcoSense Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Tech Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Chloride Systems
Lighting & Accessories by Lumenwerx
Roofing by RHEINZINK America
Washroom Fixtures by American Standard
Washroom/Shower Partitions by American Specialties
Washroom/Shower Partitions by Corian
Draperies/Blinds by Hunter Douglas
Draperies/Blinds by Lutron
Walls/Wall Materials by Kawneer
Lighting & Accessories by Lumenwerx
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