UNC Coastal Studies Institute Research Building Wins International Architecture Award

Architects Clark Nexsen and Associate Architects Cahoon & Kasten honored for best new global design of the facility in Eastern North Carolina
UNC Coastal Studies Institute Research Building. © Mark Herboth Photography.
UNC Coastal Studies Institute Research Building. © Mark Herboth Photography.
WANCHESE, N.C. - Sept. 13, 2014 - PRLog -- The UNC Coastal Studies Institute Research Building has been awarded the International Architecture Award for Best New Global Design (2014) by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The annual International Architectural Awards programis among the most prestigious building awards program honoring new and cutting-edge design.

This year, the Museum received a record number of projects for new buildings, landscape architecture, and urban planning projects from around the globe. The awards jury selected projects from 28 nations “that reflect the changing state of global architecture and reveal emerging new design directions by today’s most visionary practitioners.”

“We are thrilled that UNC CSI’s Research Building has received this international design award,” said UNC Coastal Studies executive director Nancy White. “It brings attention to how good design can integrate beauty innovation and functionality to create a facility that serves as an important resource for Eastern North Carolina.”

The design of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute Research Building is elevated, allowing the natural landscape to continue beneath the building while providing panoramic views of the wetlands and the Croatan Sound. The ground floor is primarily open to the outside to create large, covered outdoor educational spaces, with lab spaces, classrooms, and offices located on the upper floors. The use of natural light is predominant throughout the building.

“We based the design of the research building on the interwoven relationship between architecture and landscape,” said Clark Nexsen architect, Don Kranbuehl. “We wanted to anchor the building to the site while respecting the existing landscape of fragile wetlands and waterways.”

The facility has received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (http://www.usgbc.org/) in recognition of its sustainable design. A cost-effective geothermal HVAC system utilizes untreated Dare County well water as the geothermal energy source with minimal impact on the coastal environment.

In November 2014, The Chicago Athenaeum (http://www.chi-athenaeum.org/), together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies (https://chi-athenaeum.org/european-center.html) will present a special exhibition of all awarded buildings during the Second Istanbul Design Biennial in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the Biennial, the exhibition will travel inside Europe and the U.S. to Contemporary Space Athens in Spring 2015 and to The Chicago Architecture Biennial in September 2015.

A Catalogue for 2014 International Architecture Awards (https://chi-athenaeum.org/about-international-architecture.html) will be published in October 2014 that features the winning projects.

About UNC Coastal Studies Institute
UNC Coastal Studies Institute (http://csi.northcarolina.edu/) was established in 2003 as a program allowing collaboration, resource sharing, and research program initiation and enhancement. The mission of the Institute is to undertake research, offer educational and community outreach programs, and enhance communication about the history, culture and environment of the maritime counties of North Carolina. CSI is a partnership between ECU, NC State, UNC CH, ECSU, and UNCW, and Dare County and the citizens of Northeastern North Carolina. The Institute focuses on six main areas: Estuarine Ecology and Human Health, Coastal Processes, Public Policy and Sustainability, Coast Engineering and Ocean Energy, Maritime Heritage and Public Outreach and Engagement.

For more information, contact John McCord at 252-475-3663 or jmccord@csi.northcarolina.edu.

About Clark Nexsen
Clark Nexsen is an international full service architectural and engineering design firm that is deeply committed to providing design excellence to U.S. and global clients. In 2014, Clark Nexsen was ranked in the Top 20 Architecture/Engineering firms in Building Design+Construction’s annual rankings and #7 on its Top University Architecture Firms list. The firm is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with 475 employees in 10 additional office locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Washington, D.C. For more information on the firm, visit www.clarknexsen.com or find them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

For more information, contact Cat Brutvan at 919-576-2100 or cbrutvan@clarknexsen.com.

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