Cypress wood, seen in my areas throughout the residence, was harvested from NC State's own Hofmann Forest.

The Roots of a Home

While the outside of the new chancellor’s residence doesn’t look all too different, the inside is being transformed week by week. Recently, the drywall has been put up and trim, molding, windows, doors and details are being added.

The beautiful cypress and poplar detailing seen throughout much of the house has been harvested from NC State’s own Hofmann forest – an 80,000-acre forest located in the coastal region of North Carolina.

The cypress wood is used for the tongue-and-groove ceilings in many areas throughout the residence. Cypress is often used for its versatility, strength and stability. Use of a stable wood  in a tongue-and-groove board application is an important way to help prevent gaps as the house settles.

The poplar material also was selected for its stability. The tight, smooth grain of the poplar allows for a very fine paint finish to complement the trim throughout the house.

But far beyond its use for building materials, Hofmann Forest has served as a “living lab” for the university – much like its use in basic and applied research and outdoor-classroom instruction.

Formal research in Hofmann Forest began in 1936, concentrating almost exclusively on hydrology and the growth of pines. Since then, research has expanded to include topics such as fire ecology, organic soils, site productivity, biodiversity and more.

Now, parts of this historically “NC State” forest will make a home for chancellors for years to come.

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2 Responses to The Roots of a Home

  1. Thomas Winslow says:

    This house has an odd layout. Many of the rooms appear on the cramped side based on the pictures. And the structure seems sort of choppy with all the skinny gables – sort of like six little buildings stuck together. I’m a bit dissappointed this is the best we could come up with given this is a once a century opportunity – not exactly a ringing endorsement of our design school if you ask me. The Park Alumni Center next door is a beautiful building – probably the best we’ve built in ages. Why not stick with something like that for the Chancellors House?

  2. Caroline says:

    Hi Thomas! Thanks for the comment. In terms of the layout of the home, it’s hard to really gauge the size of the rooms through pictures alone. I think the house is well laid, and the room sizes work for purposes of the home.

    As for the exterior – to each their own, I think. Of course one design is not going to appeal to every person. However, I think College of Design Dean Marvin Malecha did a great job trying to design a space that was part-residence, part-entertaining space (no easy feat!). I truly think it will be an iconic building for NC State – and one that we’ll be proud of for years to come. There is still work to be done on the home so keep checking back for more updates.

    And thanks again for reading!

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