Unbuilt Winner

The Duke Endowment

Charlotte, NC

Gensler
John Gaulden, Ernie Munoz , James Hatley, Holly Christian, Melissa Panara, Jack Ossa , Jennifer Williams, Sunwha Her


The new 45,000-square-foot headquarters for The Duke Endowment acts as a physical manifestation of the organization’s legacy and identity within the Charlotte community and the greater Carolinas region. Drawing from Mr. Duke’s intent for water power of the Carolinas to continually provide for its people, the focus on the water is a continuing theme throughout the new headquarters. The building echoes the strength, structure, and rigor of a dam as well as the circulation of a river to penetrate and weave throughout the building creating a seamless connection between the indoors and out.
Planned for LEED Silver, the building is purposefully sited to respond directly to solar orientation with its main entrance along the east-west axis to take advantage of day lighting conditions for occupants. To further promote reduced energy consumption, the use of LED light fixtures, a tight thermal envelope, and high controllability of systems reduces demand, while optimized mechanical systems keep energy performance efficient.
Regional prioritization around the use of products and materials sourced from the Carolinas or within 500 miles was important to the Endowment to continue its legacy to support the people and industry of the Carolinas. Major building materials including the granite, drywall, carpet and furniture was sourced from local North and South Carolina manufacturers.