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|Location:||Houston, Texas, USA|
|Awards:||RIBA International Award;|
AIA Virginia: Award for Excellence in Architecture;
AIA Housing Awards: Specialised Housing Category;
AIA Virginia: Honor Award;
AIA Virginia: Special Jury Citation.
At Rice University, Texas, where the objective was to significantly increase overall capacity, we designed, programmed and delivered a series of new and enhanced buildings, all set within a more efficient and coherent masterplan. A careful hierarchy of spaces and buildings embodies the idea of “a community within a community” supporting a variety of networks and connections at student, College, and University levels.
At the North campus we created two new five-storey dormitory buildings, each with its own dining hall and Master’s accommodation, to house a total of 656 students. Ground floors feature arcades and courtyards linking to key circulation routes across the campus. We used an efficient modular approach for bathroom pods and to provide a variety of bedroom types, social groupings and environments. Buildings promote a strong new college community and have been seamlessly stitched into the existing campus.
At the South Campus, the historic core of the University, we developed a design strategy to extend the four existing residential colleges, clarifying the legibility and identity of each. A new refectory provides for all colleges and creates a new communal hub.
The use of materials at this century old institution have been carefully considered within an overall concept of finely-detailed brick buildings, with distinctive red-clay tile roofs, set amongst a richly landscaped environment of mature oak trees. Scale, form and materiality all respond sensitively to existing historic structures.
Rice’s traditional brick was used in an innovatively engineered facade design and, alongside exposed concrete soffits, helps provide thermal stability in the context of Texas’ hot, humid climate.
A contemporary and modular approach to construction brought the advantages of speed, quality and cost efficiency to the build, and introduced the client to new methodologies which they have subsequently incorporated into new projects.