Design Detail/Other – Winner

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau – Millwork Technology Table

Durham, NC

Perkins+Will

Kenneth Luker, Maria Peterson, Doug Dorney, Jay Holt, Arsalan Abbasi


When the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau relocated in 2016 to the historic Trust Building, the Visitor Information Center (VIC) allowed them the opportunity to reimagine the visitor experience, and position the center as “Durham’s Front Door”. The new VIC leverages technology, rather than traditional displays to help visitors explore the many offerings of Durham. At the heart of the space is a custom millwork Technology Table that supports their technology and interactive mission.  The design features a large information table at its center where visitors are invited to interact with the “Experience Experts” on staff as well as interactive touchscreens. The undulating geometry of the table is an abstraction of a large bull statue, Durham’s unofficial mascot.  The shape provides inviting points around the table for visitors to approach and can accommodate groups of multiple sizes.  The architect and fabricator worked together using multiple programs such as SketchUp, Grasshoper and Revit to solidify a constructible design.  Construction required a highly skilled fabricator with access to advance fabrication technologies.  Created by a skeleton of plywood ribs, this masterpiece provides accessible technology infrastructure on the interior with seamless connection points on the table surface.  These connection points allow flexibility in the future as technology needs evolve.  The framework is clad in sheets of solid surface that were heated and manipulated to cling to the convex, concave and complex curves.  The juxtaposition of technology overlaying historic architecture helps to introduce visitors and newcomers to the creative and entrepreneurial flavor of Durham.

Judges Comments:

“Like the amorphic shapes & relationship between ceiling & floor fixture. Concept was strong, clear, and executed with high skill.”

(Maria Peterson)