Clemson trustees approve plans for new Charleston architecture center
CLEMSON — Clemson University’s board of trustees approved program plans for building a permanent home for the university’s architecture center in Charleston. The plans call for design and construction of an approximately 31,000-square-foot, three-story building at 292 Meeting St. in the heart of the city’s historic district.
The new facility, to be named after Countess Alicia Paolozzi in recognition of a $1 million gift from the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation, will allow Clemson to consolidate, grow and increase interaction among Charleston-based programs in architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning and real estate. The center also will house a graduate program in historic preservation offered in conjunction with the College of Charleston. The programs will enroll about 100 students per semester.
“This facility allows us to finally realize the benefit of having programs in the middle of one of the most architecturally and historically significant cities in America,” said President James F. Barker, architect and former dean of the college where these programs reside. “Charleston is the perfect living laboratory, giving students opportunities for practical experience in a setting that inspires creativity and promotes collaboration.”
The facility, expected to cost $15 million, will include classrooms, faculty offices, labs and shops, as well as rooms for exhibits, lectures, community activities, garden areas and outdoor spaces for academic and public events. Funding will come from state institution bonds and private gifts.
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said, “Clemson University’s new architecture center in Charleston will be a welcomed and valued asset to our city. Not only will the building be a fine addition to historic Meeting Street, but the programs to be housed there will also enrich our efforts to maintain our priceless historic architecture for many years to come. The lessons of urban design that Charleston exhibits will make invaluable contributions to the architectural education experience of Clemson students.”
A recently renovated single house located on the site will remain and will be integrated into the campus. A former dialysis clinic on the site will be demolished to make room for the new building.
“The Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation is delighted to support this major new building where study of the environment and sustainability will have a significant role in the education of aspiring architects,” said Nigel Redden, chairman of the Foundation’s board. “The naming of this building after Countess Paolozzi is especially fitting as her husband, Count Lorenzo Paolozzi, was himself an architect.”
Richard E. Goodstein, dean of Clemson’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, said an architect could be selected by January, beginning the process of public input into the design and planning.
“We will be good neighbors and look forward to moving into a building that enhances its setting and through which the academic programs housed there channel public service projects to benefit Charleston and the Lowcountry,” Goodstein said.
“The new center also will further strengthen collaboration between Clemson and the College of Charleston — a partnership that has helped make the master’s of historic preservation program one of the nation’s finest,” he said.