2008  |  The Republik  |  Durham, NC

The Republik, a progressive, Durham-based graphic design and advertising firm, required new space to accommodate its expanding staff. In 2006, the firm acquired a 70 year-old, three-story office building located in Durham’s downtown historic district and began a phased renovation of the property. An initial construction campaign created an open-office workspace and conferencing suite in the building’s 2,300 square foot lower level. Subsequent phases have created similar accommodations on the building’s two upper floors.

The strategic concept for each phase of the project is to create a broadly open floor space with a minimum of partitioning. A crisply detailed conference room, the only fully enclosed space on each floor, is fashioned with floor-to-ceiling glass, taut gypsum board walls, and a gliding access door panel. Elsewhere, space intended for open-office work stations is defined by suspended horizontal ceiling clouds, illuminated with indirect LED fixtures. Finishes for the space, though carefully crafted, are rendered in neutral tones to retain emphasis on exhibits of the firm’s professional work.

The exterior of the building, a 30’s era, early modernist commercial façade, has been left largely intact, but reinvigorated with the addition of a full building-height canopy. This thinly drawn structure is fashioned from exposed steel, dramatically perched on a single, wide-flange column. Fabric banners illustrating artwork created by The Republik’s staff complete the façade’s composition.

Recently, Republik won the 2009 Durham Golden Leaf Award for design excellence for Commercial Properties.

Photography by Jim Sink Photography