Unique, yet economic wall treatments create a sophisticated aesthetic.

The veneer of richness achieved in the lobby of the Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education & Wellness Center at Winthrop University is, in fact, the result of the veneer specified by The FWA Group, Architects of Charlotte, N.C. That's what makes it so paradoxically economical. Wood veneer of the type found on office furniture and cabinets wraps columns and a portion of the lobby's octagonal atrium (installed cost: approximately $40,000), which along with wood-topped railings on the second level heightens the warmth of the hardwood floor (which was salvaged from a campus gym razed to make room for the new center). Higher still, different-hued cloth acoustical panels share a detail with the wood casework: Gaps between the separate pieces, called "reveals," are a half-inch deep and painted black to make them seem even deeper, giving the wall treatment an illusion of thickness.