by Mimi Montgomery
Student living isn’t what it used to be at the Stanhope, a new Kane Realty building on Hillsborough Street in the heart of N.C. State territory. In addition to a saltwater pool, game room, study rooms, an art studio, an exercise facility, and 30,000 feet of retail space including an IHOP and a CVS Pharmacy, the building is a showcase of local art.
In an effort to highlight the building’s connection with N.C. State in a sophisticated, innovative way, Kane and the university’s College of Design held a contest for commissioned art in the building. The final collection is striking and creative: An animated, digital art piece created by graduate student Tyler Brown and his studio is installed on a bank of nine LCD screens that greet visitors in the lobby. An outdoor sculpture built by College of Design alumni Michael Batts and Derek Blaylock sits overlooking the pool in the building’s courtyard. A graphic mural designed by Patrick Fitzgerald, an associate professor at State, brightens up the state-of-the-art fitness center.
“I wanted to make something fresh, inspirational, and maybe even invigorating,” says Fitzgerald of his huge, pop-art-inspired mural. His quest for inspiration is mirrored throughout the building as a whole. The overall result is a playful environment that is solidly grounded in Raleigh’s creative community and speaks to a college student’s self-exploration and growth.
The developers say they hope the building’s involvement with the design world will continue to evolve. “There’s just so much talent at the School of Design and we’d love to continue finding unique ways to pull it in,” says Josie Reeves, sales and marketing manager for Kane Realty. “We really hope that this is just the start of an installation tradition.”