The Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center, a state-of-the-art executive learning center, sits on a 28-acre portion of the Meadowmont estate in Chapel Hill. As the executive arm of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the conference center offers meeting and seminar space as well as luxury guest suites.
CJMW Architecture has enjoyed an ongoing, 18-year relationship with the business school. CJMW has provided architectural and interior design for both the on-campus flagship building and the Rizzo Conference Center since its inception.
The original portion of the Rizzo Center is an adaptive restoration of the DuBose home, the centerpiece of the original estate. Two new additional buildings were designed and built to complement the DuBose home’s gracious Georgian exterior. The final phase – a 5-story, 93,000-square-foot building addition – was completed in 2016.
A curved terrace links the former DuBose home to the new buildings, forming a semi-enclosed courtyard that is the outdoor social heart of the Center’s campus. The executive lounge, fitness center, classrooms and other public areas on the courtyard level open directly onto the outdoor meeting and recreation spaces, enlivening and energizing the outdoor space.
Included in the Center is a 183-room boutique hotel. CJMW Architecture’s interior design team drew from its lengthy hospitality design experience to bring a fresh and updated interpretation for the guest room and suite designs. Guest pantries stocked with tea/coffee stations, snacks and beverages and commercial-grade laundry rooms are available on each floor.
Rizzo’s meeting spaces are adaptable to multiple seating and teaching arrangements and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to facilitate learning. More study areas and breakout rooms with flat-screens accommodate team projects. Linking these spaces are public areas and private spaces that facilitate an office check-in or a put-the-kids-to-bed call. Rizzo Center prides itself on its hospitality but also wants to maintain a high standard of aesthetic; functional equipment such as coffee service, snacks, etc. are hidden behind millwork in pre-function areas to support this goal.
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Square footage: 240,000
Services: master planning, architectural, interior design, ffe