Capitol Broadcasting Company Headquarters

18. August 2014

Capitol Broadcasting Company Headquarters
2013
Raleigh, North Carolina

Client
Capitol Broadcasting Company

Architect
Szostak Design, Inc.
Chapel Hill, NC

Design Principal
Philip Szostak FAIA

Project Architect
Philip Nelson

Project Manager
Craig Beckwith

Project Team
David Clinton, AIA, Mark Keller

Structural Engineering
Morrison Engineering

MEP Engineering
Alantec

Landscape Architect
Coulter Jewell Thames

Interior Designer
Szostak Design, Inc.

Programming and Broadcast Technology
ARCHITEKTURE PA

Contractor
LeChase Construction Services, LLC

Site Area
0.46 acres

Building Area
8,000sf new construction; 6,000sf renovation

Photographs
Tom Arban Photography

Drawings
Szostak Design, Inc.

Mid-20th-century modern architecture is old enough that the question of demolition versus preservation comes to fore. In many cases the choice of preserving modern architecture involves renovations and additions, so particular buildings continue their usefulness over becoming museum pieces. Szostak Design's renovation and addition to a building designed by Raleigh's Milton Small is a good case in point, not only in the way their design senstively responds to the original but also in the way it respects the adjacent gardens. The architects answered a few questions about the project.

The CBC Headquarters Addition, viewed from the WRAL Gardens

What were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project?

Szostak Design has had a longstanding relationship with the Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC) and its founder and CEO, Jim Goodman. Mr. Goodman was highly influential in assisting in the development and funding of the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), a Szostak-designed project completed in 2008. CBC secured naming rights for DPAC’s public plaza and commissioned a sculptural installation by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Szostak Design was responsible for administering the infrastructure construction necessary to support Plensa’s installation.

In the intervening years, Szostak Design has collaborated with CBC on a series of projects including a new 120-room Aloft Hotel for Durham and a due diligence assessment of CBC’s Durham Bull Athletic Park. When Mr. Goodman decided to consolidate his corporate marketing and promotions staff to a single Raleigh-based location, it was natural for him to call Szostak Design, given their many years of prior successful collaboration.

Before and after images of the CBC Addition and Renovation

Please provide an overview of the project.

This multi-phase, $3 million project begun in 2011 consists of a series of additions and renovations to the Raleigh campus of the Capitol Broadcasting Company that houses their corporate headquarters, sales and marketing division and broadcast studios for WRAL and Fox 50 Television. In addition to providing an additional 8,000 square feet of new space and 6,000 square feet of renovated space, key considerations were the preservation of the WRAL Gardens, located south of the campus and the restoration of the company's original corporate headquarters, a historically significant mid-Modernist building designed by Raleigh architect Milton Small (known informally as the "Milton Small Building").

Entrance stair tower and elevator core

To preserve WRAL Gardens and the significant open space amenity it offers area residents, the new addition was positioned tight against the original Milton Small Building at the elevation of its underlying foundations. The addition is therefore partially underground, a design strategy that minimizes its visual and physical impact on the Small Building and adjoining gardens, and preserves views to the garden from the campus's public interior and exterior spaces. The below grade position of the new addition and its covering with a landscaped "green" roof also minimizes the addition's heating and cooling loads, resulting in appreciable energy savings.

Among the addition’s principal elements is a deep charcoal-hued masonry wall that slides into the face of existing grade, punctuated by a series of glazed openings drawing natural light into the workspace beyond. A stout exterior elevator core and stair tower anchors the addition’s formal entrance, surmounted by a delicately crafted, translucent canopy.

The addition’s green roof and view toward stair tower

Renovations to the Milton Small Building include upgrades to its finishes, technology and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that not only bring the facility up to contemporary standards of use, but also significantly reduce its consumption of energy. Changes to the building's historically important exterior facades were limited to technical enhancements intended to improve environmental performance without altering the building's original character.

Szostak Design provided programming, planning, architectural design, construction administration and FF&E procurement including the preparation of a complete furnishings package for private offices, freestanding workstations and collaborative lounge settings. The firm also recommended the acquisition of site-specific pieces of artwork and directed their installation.

Green roof over cafeteria skylight

What are the main ideas and inspirations influencing the design of the building?

There were three ideas central to the development of the building’s composition and fabric. First, the new addition was designed to interconnect a series of existing buildings on the CBC headquarters campus, drawing together staff members and enhancing informal interaction between the company’s various departments. Second, the working spaces within both the building addition and renovation were designed to introduce an open office concept for the company, intending to get staff members out of their “silos” and into a series of collaborative environments that CBC believes to be a more productive work place context. Finally, as previously noted, it was critical that the new addition be a gentle mediation of the existing campus buildings and their surrounding gardens. Accordingly, the addition’s low-slung profile, tucked tight against the original Milton Small Building, preserves both views and access out to the garden as well as minimizing the addition’s physical impact on the site.

Open office collaborative space

To what extent did the clients and/or future users of the building influence the design and the outcome of the building?

The building was conceived as an intensely direct collaboration between CBC’s CEO Jim Goodman and Szostak Design principal Philip Szostak, FAIA. Every key decision regarding the development of the design, from initial conceptual strategies to the selection of artwork, was made jointly between Mr. Goodman and Mr. Szostak.

How would you describe the architecture of North Carolina and how does the building relate to it?

Since the early 1950s, the State of North Carolina has been noted for its many contributions to the development of Modernism, beginning with Henry Kamphoefner’s founding of the North Carolina School of Design and his recruitment of a distinguished faculty including George Matsumoto, Mathew Nowicki and Milton Small. The CBC Headquarters Addition and Renovation carries forward this tradition, emphasizing the use of simply rendered volumes, naturally hewn materials and a minimalist color palette.

Email interview conducted by John Hill.

Renovated lobby in the Milton Small Building
Renovated Milton Small Building, before and after
Floor Plan/Milton Small Building Renovation
Floor Plan/CBC Addition, lower level
Axonometric

Capitol Broadcasting Company Headquarters
2013
Raleigh, North Carolina

Client
Capitol Broadcasting Company

Architect
Szostak Design, Inc.
Chapel Hill, NC

Design Principal
Philip Szostak FAIA

Project Architect
Philip Nelson

Project Manager
Craig Beckwith

Project Team
David Clinton, AIA, Mark Keller

Structural Engineering
Morrison Engineering

MEP Engineering
Alantec

Landscape Architect
Coulter Jewell Thames

Interior Designer
Szostak Design, Inc.

Programming and Broadcast Technology
ARCHITEKTURE PA

Contractor
LeChase Construction Services, LLC

Site Area
0.46 acres

Building Area
8,000sf new construction; 6,000sf renovation

Photographs
Tom Arban Photography

Drawings
Szostak Design, Inc.

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