About Duke Gardensx
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a 55-acre expanse on Duke’s West Campus that contains more than 2,000 species and varieties of plants. The “New Garden Center,” along with the adjacent 100 seat amphitheatre and stone pedestrian bridge, has become the crowned jewel for garden visitors. The new center is a 12,000-square-foot building which includes classrooms, a horticultural library, a reception hall, a gift shop, offices and extensive landscaping.
The entrance displays a water feature filled with metallic iris sculptures (sculpted by Francis Vega) and a bluestone walkway. In addition, an entryway pergola covered with twining vines and chain downspouts frames the entrance. The center’s main room, titled the Kirby-Horton Hall, has a cathedral ceiling, a cherry wood floor and large wood structural beams made of Douglas fir. The building is topped with a copper roof and has plenty of windows for natural lighting. The amphitheatre is constructed of “Duke Stone” and other natural products and serves as an enhancement to the natural beauty of the gardens.
Tommy Faulkner served as the owner’s representative in managing the project from design to completion. He interacted daily with the Architect, Contractor, and University officials to assure adherence to contract documents, enforce the schedule and make sound judgment decisions on the part of Duke relative to cost, quality, and time. This project was an overwhelming success and will serve as a fixture in the Duke environment for many generations to come.