Rice University in Houston is a century-old institution that has been carefully developed as a highly consistent collection of finely detailed brick buildings, set amongst a rich environment of mature oak trees.

Within this campus, two colleges have been built that contain a total of 400 rooms to house up to 650 students. Duncan College and McMurtry College are composed of two five-storey dormitory buildings and include their own dining halls, known as the Commons, as well as a two storey residence to house the Master of each College.

The kitchen and servery areas, which are centered between the dormitory buildings and the Commons, are shared by both Colleges. The buildings are carefully arranged around primary and secondary quadrangle spaces, which preserve and enhance the existing landscape. They are linked by shaded arcades to create two communities for the University. This layout preserves and enhances the existing landscape, and the buildings' brick facades echo the rich character of the existing campus buildings. The designs incorporate numerous environmentally-conscious features, and as the greenest buildings on campus, have been awarded LEED Gold Certifications.

Hopkins Architects worked with Hanbury as Executive Architect, Haynes Whaley Associates as Structural Engineers, Walter P. Moore & Associates as Civil Engineers, CHP & Associates as MEP Engineers, The Office of James Burnett as Landscape Architect, Gilbane as Project Manager, and Linbeck Group as Main Contractor on this project.


  • Location Houston, Texas, USA
  • Value £80 million
  • Size 27,870 m²
  • Client Rice University
  • Year 2009

Selected Awards

  • AIA Housing Awards: Specialised Housing Category
  • AIA Hampton Roads: Design Honor Award for Architecture
  • RIBA International Award
  • Associated General Contractors Houston Chapter: APEX Award
  • AIA Virginia Society: Award for Excellence in Architecture
  • INFORM Magazine Design Awards: Object Design (Bathroom Pods)
  • AIA Virginia Society: Special Jury Citation (Bathroom Pods, Interior Design)