demolition work has begun in durham, north carolina on paul rudolph’s ‘burroughs wellcome’ building. the brutalist structure opened in 1972 as the headquarters for burroughs wellcome, an american non-profit medical research organization. rudolph’s design was renamed the ‘elion-hitchings building’ in 1988 before united therapeutics bought the site in 2012. after demolishing part of the structure in 2014, united therapeutics received a permit to tear down the remainder of the building in 2020, claiming it was too expensive to renovate.


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‘paul rudolph, over his half-century career in which he designed more than 320 projects, created buildings and interiors of landmark distinction — and none were more forward looking, more focused on the unity of form and function, and more architectonically/spatially exciting than his burroughs wellcome headquarters and research center,’ says the paul rudolph heritage foundation on its website.

paul rudolph burroughs wellcome building
image courtesy of wellcome / CC BY 4.0



after a long fight to preserve the building, an article in the north carolina-based the news & observer now reports that dismantling ‘…has been underway internally for several months. but now the demolition has reached the point where workers are pulling the building apart and hauling away pieces by the truckload.’ read more about the project and its demolition on the paul rudolph heritage foundation’s website.

demolition starts on paul rudolph's burroughs wellcome building in north carolina
image by getharding / CC BY-SA 4.0