We began with the idea of maximizing the amount of natural light entering the building. This creates a brighter, more productive space in which to work. We achieved this by not only reducing the number of walled offices, but by moving them from their current locations, at the perimeter of the building, to the center, thus allowing light to penetrate deeper into the space. Introducing more open, low-profile workstations and locating them near the windows reinforced the strategy of maximizing the natural light on each level, while promoting collaboration and flexibility.
Singing Carolina's Praises, Shouting N.C.U.
Prior to the start of a recent capital campaign, and partly to accommodate an expected increase in staffing, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sought to renovate its Development Office. SMMA was hired to provide architectural and interior design services for the four-story, 22,000-square-foot project, which includes provisions for additional development office staff, new systems furniture, upgraded mechanical and electrical equipment, and accessibility upgrades. Our design process is focused on deploying appropriate workplace strategies that integrate opportunities for collaboration, mobility, and flexibility, as the department’s staff grows. The renovation will be completed under the requirements of Senate Bill 668 and the full State Construction Office administrative process.
UNC Chapel Hill has a strong tradition of private giving, beginning with the gift of land that originally established the campus. The Development Office supports the University’s advancement by providing such services as gift processing, donor research, planned giving support, communications, and events.
At our first meeting, the Vice Chancellor for University Development shared the institution’s aspirations for the space: “Our primary goal is not to squeeze as many people in this building as possible, but rather to create a functional, energetic, and fun atmosphere that promotes collaboration and enhances recruitment.”
SMMA took this quote as inspiration: To create an atmosphere that spoke to collaboration, flexibility, forward-thinking office practices, and technology, we needed to invert their current workplace organization.