info /

Role: Designer

Client: University of North Carolina Charlotte

Size: 100,000 sf

Typology: HIgher Ed. Business Incubator

Location: Charlotte, NC

Status: Completed 2015

About /

The Partnership, Outreach, and Research for Accelerated Learning Building (PORTAL) is located on the expanding Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) Campus of UNC Charlotte, and is four-story enclosure housing a variety of research and business-related activities.  At almost 24,000sf per floor and 96,000sf overall, interaction and state-of-the-art reconfiguration are guiding influences for the majority of the building’s environment.  

Its ability to inspire, support, and express a collaborative framework between a community and a campus, a building and a quadrangle, and a tenant and a researcher is its primary focus. The new building becomes a mechanism for interface and sharing, a link between campus and incubator where entrepreneurs will want to start their business.  A series of one, two, and three story spatial sequences introduce natural light and visible floor-to-floor connectivity into the center of the building.  Internal bridges span between each floor, housing conferencing functions that create a kinetic, open-air environment in which various types of study and investigation overlap, all while enabling discreet research to occur along the perimeter.  The ability for tenants to collaborate with peers of various disciplines and backgrounds is evident twenty-four hours a day.

Additionally, future-focused planning for flexibility and change over time will enable the building to become reconfigured continuously.  Raised floors, column-free spans, a naturally-lit interior, and modular systems will allow three types of officing layouts to coexist within one floor plate.