A once inconspicuous space between Primrose and Tompkins Halls will soon transform into a gathering place for international-focused events. Upon completion of landscaping and renovations, the Global Courtyard will showcase how NC State strives to bring the world to campus.
The idea for the Global Courtyard came about after the Office of Global Engagement’s move to Primrose Hall in December 2017. Though quaint, the building bordering Hillsborough Street lacks space to hold NC State Global’s wide range of events held each year.
“NC State maintains a strong commitment to promoting global activity and awareness on campus,” said David Hawley, manager of global programming the Office of Global Engagement. “The Global Courtyard celebrates our growing global diversity and our international population.”
NC State Global staff sought input on renovating the space from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost in neighboring Holladay Hall. Along with the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Design, the offices supported efforts to bring the project to life. The project is led by the facilities division of the Office of the University Architect, Capital Project Management, who are overseeing construction, and Landscape Design Services, who are installing planting material.
“We want to give every student at NC State an experiential education,” said Provost Warwick Arden. “Through the Global Courtyard project, our landscape architecture students gained an opportunity to engage the planning and design of a space that generations of students, faculty and staff will enjoy.”
Andrew Fox, professor of landscape architecture, Benjamin Monette, assistant professor of the practice in landscape architecture, and Travis Klondike, assistant professor of the practice, taught the class of 22 master’s level landscape architecture students who created designs for the Global Courtyard space. Students from Bangladesh, the UK, Brazil, China, Korea, Canada, India and all over the U.S. comprised the class submitting designs.
Each student developed a full set of construction documents reviewed by NC State Global and the Office of the University Architect. Many of the designs took into consideration sustainable construction and maintenance practices, sustainable materials, efficient lighting, universal accessibility, historic trees already in the space and native plant species.
Fox, Monette and Klondike then reviewed all submissions, choosing three proposals to present to university administrators. These administrators then reviewed the submissions to provide direction on what designs (or what aspects of those designs) best met the original intent of the Global Courtyard. The Office of the University Architect then took these ideas and created the final design and construction plans, with landscape architect David Josephus, leading the design work.
The designs of Jodi Hart, Panktii Trivedi and Raaga Vandari were integrated to create a final design, with lighting inspiration drawn from the design of Brenna Laffi. The design will guide the creation of an inclusive space that is accessible to all, able to be utilized for a wide range of events, and aligns with the university’s commitment to sustainability and international education.
A surprise addition to the plans came when College of Design alumni Heath Satow donated his “Dream of Flight” art installation to the Global Courtyard. The large-scale sculpture was originally commissioned by Raleigh-Durham International Airport to be displayed in its general aviation terminal.
Work on the project started in October 2019 with the relocation of a fountain gifted by NC State’s class of 1914. The fountain now resides closer to its original home between Peele and Leazar Halls.
Once open, the Global Courtyard can accommodate a wide range of events and hold up to 60 people, with moveable seating for 25-30 people. A grand opening ceremony will be held in the spring 2020 semester.