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NC State University’s transparent engineering building has ‘engineering on display’ around every corner

Clark Nexsen designed the new building.

May 22, 2018 |
Fitts-Woolard Hall exterior

Courtesy Clark Nexsen

NC State University has officially broken ground on Fitts-Woolard Hall, a new $150 million engineering building on Centennial Campus. The 250,000-sf facility was designed by Clark Nexsen and will feature a transparent design that puts “engineering on display.”

The building’s main entry is flanked by a structural testing lab, senior student project space, and a large scale driving simulator that are all visible on the exterior and interior of the building.


Fitts Woodlard HallCourtesy Clark Nexsen.


Collaboration and interaction will be supported throughout the four-story building in high degrees of transparency. Stairs at the end of the building will act as connecting threads between floors and reveal the building’s structural and mechanical systems as an additional instructional tool. An outdoor terrace, interspersed seating, and an open, collaborative space on the second floor known as “the hearth” will promote socialization and interaction between students.


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The third and fourth floors, which will be contained in a floating volume, will house faculty offices, graduate student space, and additional classrooms and research labs. Overall, Fitts-Woolard Hall will contain over 100 classrooms and laboratories and house the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and the Fitts Department of Industrial and System Engineering.

Skanska is the project’s general contractor.

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