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“Edges and Scale”

The southwest district is more challenging when dealing with massing and scale. Here, bulk and height dominate borders. The density of building sites makes it difficult to get around. The large mass of buildings, coupled with a lack of open space and wide, busy streets, makes this district less friendly to pedestrians. To assuage this effect, new construction should humanize the scale along streetscapes, open spaces and edges.

Open spaces, whether courtyards or quads, along a street edge or a natural boundary to the district will ease getting around by creating a memorable image of the area and the areas linked to it. Similarly, within large and complex buildings a memorable lobby space or circulation spine is critical to help orient visitors.

The perceivable scale of these buildings can be eased by breaking the massing into smaller programmatic parts. This could also aid in orientation as different uses would have a discernable volume or space associated with them.


Southwest District

Original Medical Buildings Diagram
MacNider Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill


  • Buildings address street or open space.
  • Mass of buildings is broken into smaller elements that clearly define the front, the entry, important rooms, etc.
  • Elements are human scale.
  • Facades are simple, clearly organized and hierarchical.
  • Base, middle and top are used for organization.
  • Materials are used hierarchically, with stone at entry and brick elsewhere.
North Carolina Memorial Hospital, UNC-Chapel Hill
Health Sciences Building Diagram
Health Sciences Building


  • Building occupies two city block sites and is connected at upper floors.
  • Each of the two buildings fronts a street, providing a clear entry, with one at the street edge and the other set back and fronting a public space on the street.
  • Arcaded public walk creates interaction between pedestrians on non-entry side.
  • Tower element acts as neighborhood marker, announcing both building and entry.
  • Facade hierarchy focuses on entry.
  • Windows are grouped to help lessen impact of building’s scale.
  • Base, middle and top are used for organization.
  • Materials are used hierarchically.
Health Sciences Building
Cellular & Molecular Medicine Diagram
Cellular & Molecular Medicine


  • Site forms outdoor courtyard.
  • Large building is distributed over larger footprint.
  • Building lessens impact of changes in ground elevation from one end of site to the other.
  • Pedestrians are encouraged to walk through open space while going to another part of campus.
  • Building complements landscape.
  • Pedestrian arcades link indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as provide an active and social space.
  • Stair towers clearly indicate pedestrian circulation routes.
  • Informal gathering spaces are built into building and landscape.
  • Materials are appropriate for context.
Cellular & Molecular Medicine
Research and Education Building
Research and Education Building


  • Building continues existing street wall.
  • Entry is a clearly identifiable piece that links existing buildings to the new.
  • Two thin vertical forms help to lighten massing.
  • Rhythmic composition of facade and roof furthers illusion of lightness.
  • Base, middle and top are used for organization.
  • Contemporary building is using traditional methods of composition.
  • HVAC stack is used in roof form.
  • Materials are appropriate for context.
Research and Education Building

Proposed Building Identification

Proposed Building Identification
The diagram above identifies each of the new buildings proposed in the Master Plan by a number. This number relates to each of the respective geographical districts. Example: N represents North Campus, SE is southeast district and SW is southwest district. These numbers correspond to the chart located below. The chart identifies building use, size, massing and height.

Area Calculations for Proposed Buildings

Building/Open Space Number Building Use Area Per Floor, GSF Number of Floors Total Area, GSF Remarks
SW1 ACADEMIC 19,800 3 59,400
SW2 ACADEMIC 3,400 3 10,200
SW3 ACADEMIC 13,700 3 41,100
SW4 ACADEMIC 9,600 3 28,800
SW5 ACADEMIC 7,700 3 23,100
SW6 ACADEMIC 7,000 3 21,000
SW7 ACADEMIC 21,800 5 109,000
SW8 ACADEMIC 9,600 3 28,800
SW9 ACADEMIC 4,100 5 20,500
SW10 ACADEMIC 6,300 3 18,900
SW11 ACADEMIC 13,100 5 65,500
SW12 PARKING 73,300 4 293,200 840 spaces
SW13 ACADEMIC 7,000 4 28,000
SW14 ACADEMIC 12,000 4 48,000
SW15 HOSPITAL 48,000 6 288,000
SW16 HOSPITAL 6,300 4 25,200
SW17 HOSPITAL 19,100 4 76,400
SW18 ACADEMIC 11,100 4 44,400
SW19 ACADEMIC 2,800 5 14,000
SW20 HOSPITAL 26,600 8 212,800
SW21 HOSPITAL 21,200 4 84,800
SW22 PARKING 63,900 4 255,600 730 spaces
SW23 HOSPITAL 27,000 8 216,000
SW23.1 HOSPITAL 35,000 4 140,000
SW24 ACADEMIC 29,900 4 119,600
SW25 ACADEMIC 9,200 4 36,800
SW26 ACADEMIC 16,100 6 96,600
SW27 ACADEMIC 29,700 6 178,200
SW28 ACADEMIC 3,600 4 14,400
SW29 ACADEMIC 34,700 6 208,200
SW30 ACADEMIC 9,700 4 38,800
SW31 ACADEMIC 22,200 6 133,200
SW33 PARKING 51,200 3 153,600 440 spaces
SW34 HOSPITAL 18,800 4 75,200
SW35 HOSPITAL 64,300 3 192,900
SW36 PARKING 44,800 3 134,400 380 spaces
SW37 UTILITY Thermal Storage
SW38 RETAIL 4,500 2 9,000
SW39 RETAIL 5,700 2 11,400
SW40 RETAIL 3,200 2 6,400
SW41 HOSPITAL 23,400 6 140,400
SW42 HOSPITAL 20,000 6 120,000
SW43 UTILITY 23,200 4 92,800
SW44 ACADEMIC 25,800 4 103,200
SW45 HOSPITAL 35,800 6 214,800
SW46 ACADEMIC 53,700 4 214,800
SW47 ACADEMIC 19,500 4 78,000
SW50 HOSPITAL 31,500 6 189,000
SW51 ACADEMIC 44,600 4 178,400
SW52 HOUSING 12,000 3 36,000
SW53 HOUSING 13,800 3 41,400
Subtotal 4,970,200

The chart above gives the general intent of the Master Plan relative to the massing and scale of proposed buildings. It also allows the University to plan for the future based on the environmentally responsible capacity of its land.

Summary: Southwest District

Existing Health Affairs

Existing Health Affairs

Proposed Health Affairs

Proposed Health Affairs

The home of Health Affairs and UNC Hospitals provides critical research to the University, as well as clinical services to the region and state. Issues of patient care and cutting-edge research create a need to plan for growth in a particularly sensitive way in this district. The Master Plan suggests the in-filling of this area with a series of clinical and research facilities that will meet the University’s programmatic needs while also increasing the utility and beauty of this area.

Future buildings are intended to form a series of interconnected walkways and courtyards to reconnect this area from the Ambulatory Care Center to the hospitals and beyond. These outdoor spaces will recreate the texture and scale of North Campus in terms of material and form. Most important, this walk will be through landscaped quadrangles and paths, all of  which will be enlivened by new buildings of appropriate scale and design.

Proposed Bridges and Totals

Bridges/Open Space Number Area Per Floor, GSF Number of Floors Total Area, GSF
B1 4,400 1 4,400
B2 5,000 1 5,000
B3 1,800 1 1,800
B4 2,100 1 2,100
B5 1,500 1 1,500
B6 3,700 1 3,700
B7 4,000 1 4,000
B8 3,000 1 3,000
B9 1,300 1 1,300
Subtotal 26,800
Total for Proposed Buildings Total GSF
North Campus District 1,874,200
Southwest Campus District 4,970,200
Southeast Campus District 4,344,600
Total Proposed Buildings, GSF 11,189,000
Adjusted Total of New Campus Building Area Total GSF
Total Proposed Buildings 11,189,000
Total Existing Buildings Demolition 1,275,900
Total Proposed Parking 2,606,100
Adjusted Total of New Campus Building Area, GSF 7,307,000
Total Proposed Pedestrian Bridges, GSF 26,800

Area Calculations for Proposed Bridges and Totals

The charts above identify the estimated total gross square footage for proposed bridges as well as the entire University’s main campus building areas.