We believe development of place should be guided by authentic awareness of community so that growth and change respond to everyone.

CONNECTIONS has established 5 goals, symbolized below, that will be inherent to this site and all future projects within the CONNECTIONS series. These Vision Themes and goals are the lenses through which we view decisions on program and design. CONNECTIONS seeks to demonstrate how ethical design can create an inclusive city with equitable opportunity and provide an example to communities confronting similar issues. Redefine the current role of the architect as one of optimist, innovator, researcher, and activist. Revitalize portions of the city and provide an example of socially responsible city growth to cities well beyond our region.




Honor site and program legacy while establishing a new, socially, environmentally  and regenerative place.

Built in 1884, Central Prison houses male inmates sentenced to 20 years or more and serves as their main medical and mental health center in North Carolina. When it opened in 1845, the Governor Morehead School was only the eighth  school for the blind in the country, and served the state’s entire population  - including the African American blind and deaf, just four years after the Civil War.

Certainly, North Carolina needs both institutions, but today each is separated from the  city, socially and physically. The legacy of the site on which they’re located is mixed with punishment and sadness – as well as success and human kindness.

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Design buildings, open spaces, and landscapes that contribute positively to place.

Good design is responsive to context, in terms of surrounding landscape, buildings, developments, local materials and climate. When thoughtfully considered, these influences yield buildings and designs that form the essence of place-making.

Raleigh needs not just good design, but great design. This project is an opportunity to showcase that in a way that inspires future growth and development for North Carolina’s only capital city.



Create a variety of activity on site at all times that is reflected in formal and thoughtful architectural content.

This 81.2-acre site can be an incubator of industry - to create a diverse economic environment that can constantly grow and change, as a vital part of the city for generations to come.

This project will consider the current and growing density of the city as an asset, and create an appropriate density of residents as well as local/city/regional users. No concentration of residents is sufficient without diversity of program and uses, and no density of users is sufficient without diversity of time.



Consider options for how density addresses scale based on program, context, environment, and infrastructure.

The City of Raleigh’s growth is explosive, as 67 people move to Wake County each day. The current population of the City of Raleigh is 458,880 and is projected to grow another 50 percent by 2030. The cost and value of land is rising just as quickly, which raises the question of how to handle density and scale.

This 81.2-acre site is perfectly situated for high-density uses - and the future development must respond to its surroundings with appropriate massing and scale.



Address alternative and innovative modes of transit to the site and its surroundings as well as how technology can be incorporated for social good.

This site is bounded by rail lines which were an early vehicle for transportation and growth, and Western Boulevard, a busy four-lane road connecting the east and west sides of south Raleigh. The train and the automobile highlight Raleigh’s past and current modes of transit; few alternate options currently exist.

This hypothetical project strives to change all that, acting as a development that allows for new ways to conceptualize our vehicles and our reliance on them, while  fully integrating future modes of travel into the program.