New life in an old structure: Modernisation and expansion of a campus building by Grimshaw Architects
Builder Duke University
Location: Durham (US)
The West Campus Union building at the historic campus of Duke University in North Carolina has been restored and enlarged by Grimshaw Architects in a measure involving renovation of the building's central core and painstaking restoration of significant original structures, such as the façade out of locally quarried stone, gargoyles, ornate window tracery and other decorative elements. These historical fragments frame a transparent atrium that provides a focal point for the building and the surrounding academic precinct. The new parts stand out clearly from the old structures, as seen in new steel and glass balconies below existing Gothic Revival wood roof trusses, and various glass bridges that now link previously isolated historic spaces together.
The new building contains conference rooms, meeting areas and rehearsal and performance spaces as well as several restaurants that have come about in collaboration with local vendors. The surrounding outdoor spaces have been reshaped and enriched with new dining and leisure areas.