Capitalizing on the dramatic topography, the team envisioned the hill climb as a defining feature akin to the Spanish Steps. The form- a larger volume canted to align with the hill, connected to a linear bar -frames the terraced exterior stair and plazas.
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Clemson, South Carolina
Associate Architect: LS3P Associates Ltd.
General Contractor: DPR Construction
Structural Engineering: Thornton Tomasetti
MEP Engineering: RMF Engineering, Inc.
Civil Engineering: Land Planning Associates, Inc.
Landscape Architecture: Ayers Saint Gross
Lighting Design: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
160,000 square feet
Targeting LEED New Construction Silver
Architecture, Interior Design, Planning
Clemson University is recognized for innovations that enhance students’ access to knowledge and opportunities for academic success. The College of Business highlights this direction with a state-of-the-art building promoting collaboration, research, interaction with industry, and the flexibility to adapt to ongoing advances in technology.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and sited prominently at the highest point in the area, the five-story Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business creates a new gateway for Clemson University. The first new academic building in 100 years built on Bowman Field, it anchors Clemson’s historic heart as part of a planned expansion embracing the surrounding campus and creating a 24/7 hub for student activities.
Inspired by the hills and natural landscape around the site, the building is carved out of the hillside and maximizes accessibility with five entry points that converge at the central atrium. A grand public stair flows between the complex’s north and south wings to draw movement westward and down from nearby residences into the campus’ historic core, featuring the venerable Bowman Field and Tillman Hall. Above grade, the project reaches skyward to a dramatic effect. As spacious, daylight-filled common areas inspire students, faculty, and community partners to explore possibilities together. Connecting the building with the hill, and the hill with the building, this open and transparent composition anticipates the future while redefining Clemson’s historic campus and establishing a new destination for business education.
Photography: Mark Herboth
The atrium is designed for connection in every sense of the word. Gathering areas, adaptable furnishings, and touchdown spaces accommodate a variety of tasks.
“The design team envisioned a student-centric think tank environment that provides a dynamic environment for student/faculty engagement, active learning, and student body socialization. ”
– Wendy York, Dean at Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, Clemson University
2023 AIA South Carolina, Honor Award for New Construction
2022 Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, Honorable Mention
2021 AIA Greenville Design Awards, Honor Award
2021 AIA Greenville Design Awards, Community Choice Award
2021 IIDA Northern Pacific Chapter INawards, INpublic Award
2021 AIA South Carolina Design Awards, Citation Award
2021 BD+C Building Team Awards, Bronze Award