Clemson University College of Architecture – Thomas Phifer and Partners – US
Architects: Thomas Phifer and Partners
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Project Team: Thomas Phifer, Eric Richey, Anja Turowski, John Bassett
Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Geotechnical Engineer: Nummelin Testing Services
General Contractor: Poulsen Enterprises
Area: 2,900 sq ft
Photographs: Scott Frances
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridgemountainsin upstate South Carolina, the addition to the Lee Hall College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University is carefully sited adjacent to a green belt of open spaces that runs through the center of campus. An ultra-energy efficient building, the 55,000 sf addition was conceived to accommodate the expanding needs of the college which includes 12 professional degree programs in the 4 departments of Art, Architecture, Construction Science + Management, and Planning + Landscape Architecture. We discovered early in the design process that all programs form a close community with a rich culture of collaboration.
To cultivate this sense of community within the new addition, program elements are intermingled to generate an environment for “cross pollination” between programs and disciplines through adjacency, allowing students to learn from other students and faculty though informal creative exchanges. Proximity and transparency are supported with carefully detailed glazing between interior program elements. Transparency is also employed on the exterior facades to blur the line between the natural world and the interior environment. This connection to the exterior is enhanced through operable and motorized windows which are opened when exterior conditions permit. The exterior space to the north of the Lee Hall addition is carefully proportioned and intentionally flexible to foster full scale fabrications.