Customer Space – Case Study Watt Family Innovation Center – Clemson University

South Carolina’s highest-ranked national university is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with research facilities and economic development hubs throughout the state. Founded in 1889, Clemson is a top-25 public university with a reputation for its dedication to teaching, research, and service. Ranked as the 21st best national public university by U.S. News & World Report, Clemson provides a hands-on education—in the lab, in the arts, and in the field.


Clemson, SC, USA

Project Specs

Area: 70,000 sq. ft.
Stories: 3
Bonus Feature: Roll-up garage door

Design Firm

Perkins + Will, Atlanta

Dealer Partner

PMC Commercial Interiors

The Watt Family Innovation Center demonstrates Clemson’s academic enterprise in action, putting current students’ needs first while also attracting the next generation of prospective innovators. Flexibility, transparency, and accessibility are the foundational principles that drove the 70,000 square-foot design. This agile, high-tech environment allows cross-disciplinary teams of students, faculty, and industry partners to come together and take ideas from concept to reality. 

While their primary purpose is to facilitate circulation, corridors also create spaces for formal collaboration and informal gatherings. The corridors in the building were designed to be wider than usual—with walls that include technology to accommodate multiple functions so students can easily access the audio-visual components or work from their laptops in the lounge areas. With so many virtual and visual display tools, people can look at information from different viewpoints and share it in a way that was never possible in former education models. 

At the heart of the building is the atrium, stamped with the paw print of the Clemson Tiger. The icon serves as a focal point among orange tile flooring, accompanied by a massive video screen that conveys the Clemson brand as soon as people walk into the building. Glass walls bring in natural light and create an open, vibrant core inside with views of campus outside—a space that draws people from all over the university to meet and study. 

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