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2012 Design Awards

BioScience Research Collaborative at Rice University

Project Rice University, BioScience Research Collaborative, Houston Client Rice University Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Design team Craig Hartman, FAIA; Carrie Byles, AIA; Keith Boswell, FAIA; Javier Arizmendi, AIA; Maurice Hamilton; Danielle McGuire, AIA Contractor/construction manager Linbeck Consultants FKP Architects (interiors); Perkins+Will (laboratory); Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers (MEP); Haynes Whaley (structural); Walter P Moore (civil); Tom Leader Studio (landscape); Working Buildings (environmental); Acentech (acoustics/vibration); Rolf Jensen & Associates (life safety); Syska Hennessy Group (elevator); Desman Associates (traffic); The Sextant Group (IT/AV/security); Field Management Services (EMI); Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (wind); Flack + Kurtz (lighting); Entek Engineering (façade maintenance); JEAcoustics (acoustics/

by Jason T. Chan, AIA

noise/vibration) Photographer Cesar Rubio Photography


t the intersection of Rice University’s historic and growth axes is the BioScience Research Collaborative, a ten-story 477,000-sf translational research facility designed to facilitate multi-institutional research collaboration between Rice and various institutes from Texas Medical Center. This interdisciplinary facility embraces a wide range of disciplines, from chemistry to bioengineering, from organizations supporting startup research companies to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute — all with emphasis on improving human wellness through research. Many aspects of the project promote collaboration, and it starts at the plaza. This urban space receives the aforementioned axes, engages Main Street, and invites the community into the campus. Here, the axes are framed by the building form; the configuration of pavers and planters highlights the path. “The project allows the University to step out from behind the hedges and engage the community,“ reflects Craig Hartman, FAIA, of SOM. Design to foster collaboration is evident inside the building. The lobby is spacious and can double as gallery or a pre-function space for the 280seat auditorium, which is outfitted with an advanced telecommunications system to support the interdisciplinary dialogue necessary for research in the Information Age. This trend continues into the classrooms on the second floor. The daylight-filled café here is oriented toward the outdoor plaza, encouraging occupants to venture outside. At the heart of the building is the central “collaborative hub,” which faces the campus and is expressed in the building’s cylindrical form. This hub serves as the center of intellectual and social exchange, where scientists and students can interact with one another in a more open environment. Each floor of the hub is flexible in design to accommodate student workstations, computational research, and meeting areas, and is connected by a double-height lounge

66 Texas Architect

9/10 2012

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2012: Design Awards  

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2012: Design Awards

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2012: Design Awards  

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2012: Design Awards