DUKE BRYAN CENTER ENTRY ADDITION
DUKE UNIVERSITY, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
AREA: 1000 SF, INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
PROGRAM: NEW ENTRY addition, REBRAND, AND RECLAD OF EXISTING STUDENT CENTER
DURATION: FALL 2012–SUMMER 2015
CONSTRUCTION COST: $2,500.000
AWARD: 2016 NORTH CAROLINA AIA DESIGN HONOR AWARD
ARCHITECT: ARCHITECTURE OPERATIONS D.P.C., REID FREEMAN, PARTNER IN CHARGE
Duke defines itself as both a collection of memorable spaces and a University in a forest and these two statements have informed our design for the Bryan Center entries. The glass and steel entry volumes are positioned at the two primary plaza level entrance points to articulate the primary circulation corridor of the building interior and the exterior plaza. The increased vertical scale of the new entries provides greater visibility on approach to the student center from the primary district circulation arteries to aid navigation. The material selections help establishes a link between the Bryan Center and the other new contemporary additions and elements planned for the West Union District.
Color and motion of students passing through the entry portals activate and animate the lower area of the sidewall screens while the ambient light of the sky is collected and displayed in the sidewall upper areas. Careful control light and the interaction between materials extend and exaggerate the perceived scale of the transition between interior and exterior spaces to help reduce visual discomfort to visitors entering and exiting the building. The light responsive surfaces of the sidewalls abstract and present the daily and seasonal changes of sky, color, and light.
Daylight and transparency are prioritized to clarify and organize the interior and exterior public circulation spaces. The Sidewalls of etched glass and diffused reflective metal of the Bryan Center Entries create atmospheric and dynamic reflections of the surrounding natural environment and help blur the threshold between the natural exterior landscape and the built interior environments. The entry volume frame was preassembled at the fabricators shop, parts numbered, and then disassembled for shipping from Germany. This allowed for quick assembly in the field to meet the client’s ambitious schedule. The project was allowed a short window for construction in the summer between the academic semesters to minimize disruption to the operations at the student center. The Bryan Center is the heart of undergraduate life on the West Campus. It houses the campus bookstore, the mailroom, retail dining, and all student clubs/organizations.