Just south of Falls Park, the Greenville County Administration Building marks Foster + Partner’s first built project in South Carolina. The building is part of a broader master plan by RocaPoint Partners which seeks to create a vibrant extension to downtown Greenville.
The Foster + Partners–designed building is the new home of administration for Greenville County employees. Construction broke ground on the project in 2018. Now, five years later, the 4-story building by Foster + Partners is a natural link between Falls Park and the new Cancer Survivor’s Park and nearby Swamp Rabbit Trail.
In plan, the building is shaped like a bow tie. The massing is split between two volumes. Between the office blocks, a shaded public plaza and footbridge allows for easy access. The geometric configuration creates publicly accessible voids for the public to enjoy on the corner of University Ridge & South Church Street in Greenville.
Outside the building, within the plaza, a Veterans Memorial Wall made partly of Corten steel centrifugally fans out from the entrance. A fountain area is nestled between the building and the War Memorial. Cafes and restaurants will activate the plaza, serving both office workers and visitors.
The government building is designed to maximize transparency, much like previous state facilities by Foster + Partners and other practices. The optimized perimeter and glass curtain wall symbolically remove the boundary between the public and government officials.
Architecture and landscape work in harmony together, creating a vibrant new public space and an uplifting working environment, said Carolyn Gembles, a partner at Foster + Partners.
References to earth tones and brick masonry from other county buildings manifest throughout Greenville County Administration Building while its interiors are sparkling white. Sharp angles add to the contemporary feel of the design.
“The building will make a significant contribution to Greenville County, acting as a place for local people to meet in serene natural surroundings,” added Nigel Dancey, head of studio at Foster + Partners. “The overhanging roof converges to create a shaded plaza, with crisp edges that accentuate the building’s unique form.”