Can the World's Largest Office Park Change its Suburban Stripes?
Built in the 1950s, the 7,000-acre campus—once a shining example of the suburbanization of American industry—is today home to more than 170 companies, including IBM, Cisco, and GlaxoSmithKline. But retaining existing residents, and attracting new ones, is increasingly difficult in today’s economy, where research and development occupy less physical space, and where many start-ups gravitate toward urban centers.
Bob Geolas, the chief executive officer of the campus’s foundation, wants to make Research Triangle Park relevant again, James Oliphant writes. Geolas envisions a new “global convergence center” housing laboratory space, plus a demonstration space akin to Disney’s EPCOT. The guiding architectural principle of the renovated park, which is in its earliest planning stages, would be New Urbanism’s emphasis on contact and sustainability.