GLUCK+’s new research facility for Duke University boasts beautiful coastal views as well as impressive eco-friendly credentials. Recently crowned LEED Gold, the Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey Research Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina features a slew of sustainable elements – from the use of recycled materials and water-saving features to efficient heating and cooling technologies designed to cut energy costs by 30 percent. The state-of-the-art facility’s most salient sustainability feature, however, is its ability to weather storm surges and hurricane-force winds.
Located on the southern tip of Pivers Island, Pilkey Research Laboratory is the first new research building constructed at Duke University Marine Laboratory since the 1970s. In response to current concerns of sea level rise and other extreme weather, GLUCK+ made weatherproofing the 12,000-square-foot lab a priority. To protect against storm surges, the building is made up of a series of boxy volumes of varying sizes arranged in a pinwheel formation. In a nod to the waterfront campus’ existing buildings, the lower volumes are clad in cypress, whereas white cement board covers the upper volume.
The asymmetrical volumes are centered on an area called the Collisional Commons, a public meeting area for informal interactions. Here, views of the coastline can be enjoyed through full-height glazing that also opens up to outdoor seating. All regularly occupied rooms also have access to surrounding views and abundant natural light and ventilation. Faculty offices, a PhD bullpen, teaching lab, a video conference room and service spaces surround the commons. The laboratories with equipment-intensive research spaces are housed in the upper level.
Images by Paul Warchol