Burroughs Welcome Fund

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

  • Owner

    Burroughs Welcome Fund

    Architect

    Perkins + Will

  • Delivery Method

    General Contractor

    Size

    35,000 sq. ft.

Although “one-story office building with basement” is technically accurate, it doesn’t begin to describe the headquarters of the Burroughs Welcome Fund. An open courtyard at the heart of the building, stone and wood flooring, vaulted ceilings and large fireplaces are some of the elements that distinguish the structure from its “office” tag.

To build a world-class building, materials were gathered from around the world. Solid mahogany windows were brought in from Maine. The sandstone veneer is from Ohio. Two-and-a-quarter-inch-thick wood flooring was imported from Guatemala.

Construction is a game of inches. Or, as it turns out, quarters and eighths. This is especially true when putting down wood floors.

Characteristic of the entire building, installing the woodwork at Burroughs Welcome Fund required inordinate amounts of precision. In the main reception area, the floor changes geometry at every pilaster, which called for frequent adjustments in the way the wood was laid. Measurements that seem trivial to most — even fractions of an inch — meant the difference between success and needing to start over.

But once the fractions came together, the result was beautiful.