Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) Facility
The BRITE building at North Carolina Central University grew from a North Carolina initiative to make the state a premier provider of skilled workers for the biotechnology industry. The facility houses research and teaching laboratories representative of the development labs found in industry to provide students with “hands-on” training as part of their collegiate experience. Flexibility was paramount, as technology is constantly being updated per industry demands. BRITE also houses classrooms and office space.
The building is intended to establish a powerful, iconic presence for this part of campus, and to embody the character of the University’s scientific mission. These goals informed the design.
The 45-foot canopy at the north end of the building forms a campus gateway and a highly visible entrance. A double-height lobby and monumental stair connect the two primary floors. Programmatically, the plan is a simple stratification of office, circulation, lab support and lab from east to west. Faculty offices are located on the east side, facing the courtyard. It is defined by a semi-transparent curtain wall, connecting the interior to the exterior. Lab spaces are situated on the west side, shielded from glare and heat gain by a masonry wall and narrow, vertical windows in a pattern derived from the geometry of an unfolded DNA strand.
While standing apart in scale and form from other campus buildings, the BRITE uses similar materials to harmonize with surrounding context.
Previous experience of Timothy F. Winstead, AIA while with The Freelon Group, Inc.