City of Raleigh Municipal Campus

Also and even more importantly than the three hideous square box buildings, is that this plan came at a high financial cost to taxpayers from a world leading architecture firm…?
At least give us a big bang for our big bucks.

This is a masterplan, not an architectural design. They haven’t designed the buildings yet, although the diagrams do suggest that they are expecting them to be rectilinear, which makes sense from a cost perspective. And there’s nothing wrong with boxes, provided that they are beautifully/elegantly detailed and still have elements of unique and iconic design. SOM has suggested that this will be the case. See, for example, pages 43 and 44.


The conceptual image on 38 is also telling of what SOM envisions - an understated design that uses certain urban moves to create an impactful presence. Even if the buildings themselves are simple but elegant boxes, this campus could still provide a really rich public experience.


I agree - the box design can be very nice - modern, sleek, efficient, minimalism

Also keep in mind that the the city already had critics to unify city campus not to mention building it 20 stories. If they go overboard with the design for the city building on tax dollars it would create the wrong image.


Most buildings in the heart of Paris are only 5-6 stories . . .
Washington, D.C. has height limits of 130 feet at maximum, and only 20 feet taller than the width of the street otherwise.

Not that Raleigh is up the level of either of those cities, but the point is that we don’t have to build tall to be great, or to have buildings of varying heights (though it is nice). But if buildings are to be constructed at the same height, there should at least be some architectural variation between them.


A lot of the buildings in downtown Richmond are around the same height. However, downtown Richmond is on a pretty good drop down to the riverfront. It looks much more dense than Raleigh, but I always wanted more variation (peaks, dones, spires) in the skyline. They have added to the skyline since I moved back to Raleigh, but nothing really stands out. It has a nice urban feel to it, something I really miss. And of course the Riverfront was always a great place to kill some time on the weekend.


As an aside… I always loved how the buildings were all lit up at night, especially around the holidays. The approach from 95 heading north was always pretty cool to see. It definitely made the city more memorable to the passers-through on the interstate.


Sorry, didn’t mean to stray from Raleigh… but my point is that there isn’t really much memorable about Raleigh’s current skyline. It is just kinda meh? With some interesting lighting schemes or adding a topper to the Wells Fargo building, we could create some interest in the City. Fingers crossed that we will have some interesting architecture in the new City Government Campus… just PLEASE do something different than the Dillion. I personally hate that building, just my opinion.



My apologies in advance Nickster…but please don’t let DTRichmond happen to DTRaleigh… :open_mouth:

The city of Richmond is beautiful, just like the city of Raleigh!
However, when I think of DTRichmond, I think of square boxes, dense thought it may be…:wink:

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[W]e don’t have to build tall to be great, or to have buildings of varying heights (though it is nice). But if buildings are to be constructed at the same height, there should at least be some architectural variation between them.

Even if you have simple-shaped, rectangular, glass buildings, you can still be creative about how the building looks… especially if you try enough.

For example, what if you took the City of Raleigh’s logo…

…and made it the facade of each of the two buildings? Kind of like a Raleigh Twin Towers? (plus this would probably look cool if you light it up at night)
(I used the generic shape of the massing models in the master plan, and took a bit creative liberty with the plaza. I apologize for the poor quality of the sketch.)

…or if you REALLY wanted to be creative, you could even use reinforced wood (“City of Oaks”, anyone?) in certain parts to make it look unique. And I’m not a professional architectural designer; I’m just a grad student from an unrelated field.

Point is, I don’t see a reason to feel like we’re going to be resigned to lame, boring mediocrity. Echoing what @elevatoroperator said:

This is a masterplan, not an architectural design. They haven’t designed the buildings yet

(just don’t use unethically sourced rainforest timber)


Wow, you clearly have too much time on your hands :smile:
I think your idea to subtly include the Raleigh logo is beyond amazing. Well done!


I would say that his time is very well spent…:grin:


(I literally just skimmed through the Plan for like five minutes, and took another 5min to sketch out the first thing that popped into my head lol… but) thank you haha

It’s missing the canned cream corn dispenser but I dig it. Maybe instead of wood they can cover the front of one of the towers with a very large artisit 2D metal oak tree with color changing lights as backlights.

Think of the Edith Green - Wendell Wyatt Federal in Portland but with oak tree design and light show.

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I think building a modern wooden structure for these buildings would be the perfect way to make these buildings POP. Some of the tall wood buildings being proposed and built now are incredible. image

Just a couple I found on a quick google search.

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IDK, would wood still be fashionable in 30 years? How will it look in 50 years? Remember all the ugly mid-century building using at the time trendy materials like Poe Hall at NCSU.

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Wood isn’t trendy, lol, it’s the most basic building material. Large timber framing is actually very strong too, but it’s super expensive. Although, it’s probably more attractive as steel prices skyrocket due to tariffs


There’s a difference between functional timber used to support buildings and decorative wood panelling. This is a 20 story building it will be made of concrete and steel. Any wood will be decorative and must withstand extreme Carolina temp gradient, humidity, high winds, etc. I don’t trust the City of Raleigh to do anything tastefully.

This is the same city that approved the design of the Residence Inn by the Convention Center after all.


That federal building is sharp. If we got a design that was anywhere close to that I would be ecstatic.

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I’m pretty sure the city of raleigh can’t approve or prevent a building based on appearance. They can set structural guidelines and make requests, but they can place 0 demands on aesthetics.

If that’s so, then why do they have an Appearance Commission?

If the city is both the client and controls the approval. They sure as Hell can make demands about design and aesthetics.


There’s plenty of tall buildings being made by timber framing these days. I just think that it’s probably a little too cutting edge for Raleigh since the US is lagging behind… Oregon was the first state to legalize mass timber high rises just last month.

Globally, proposals are becoming quite common since mass timber construction is actually more fire resistant than concrete and steel, and it has a lot of other benefits as well. It’s just really expensive right now.


Amsterdam, currently the world’s tallest under construction at 21 storeys.

Stockholm, with a 34-story proposal by CF Moller.

One can dream :slight_smile:


Interesting and unique looking…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

But as a tree hugger I have to ask about the type of wood/lumber being utilized? :thinking:

Don’t make me tie myself to one of these buildings…:open_mouth: