Architecture People & Places


Thomas Phifer and Partners at Clemson University

Thomas Phifer and Partners designed an addition to the Lee Hall College of Architecture at Clemson University. Photo: Scott Frances

Located in upstate South Carolina, on the Clemson University campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a new steel-and-glass addition to the Lee Hall College of Architecture provides generously daylit spaces for students and faculty.

The 55,000-square-foot (5,100-square-meter) building was designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners as a highly energy-efficient facility that intermingles the studios, classrooms, and offices of four major departments in response to the close-knit community of the school.

Front facade of Lee Hall. Photo: Scott Frances

The building's metal roof structure is supported by a forest of branched steel columns and its long, main facade is almost entirely glazed. The main facade, together with round skylights spaced across the roof and a consistently white interior finish, help to reflect daylight deep into the building.

The Lee Hall College of Architecture received an Honor Award in the Architecture category of the 2013 AIA National Design Awards.

Jury Comments 
"The rigorous clarity in the organization and assembly of this building is perfectly suited to an educational environment for architecture. 
"It is an exceptional work that surrounds students with a seamless integration of programmatic goals, energy efficiency, and creative tectonics. 
 Upper-level view inside the Lee Hall addition. Photo: Scott Frances
"The lighting systems and dynamism of the structure will serve as great teaching tools for students. 
"Amazing details/textures/light-shadow play/expressive systems lend themselves to a fantastic quality of space."
Looking along the front facade. Photo: Scott Frances

Project Credits
  • Associate Architect: McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
  • Civil Engineer: Dutton Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineer: Talbot and Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
  • Environmental Consultant: Transsolar
  • General Contractor: Holder Construction
  • Landscape Architect: Pond and Company

Overview of the Lee Hall College of Architecture addition. Photo: Scott Frances

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