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David Adjaye selected to design a new student center at Rice University in Houston, Texas

United States Architecture News - Nov 06, 2020 - 15:48   5483 views

David Adjaye selected to design a new student center at Rice University in Houston, Texas

Ghanian-British architect David Adjaye has been selected to design a new student center at Rice University in Houston, Texas. The new student center largely replace the Rice Memorial Center (RMC) at the campus, said Rice University in an announcement

David Adjaye's firm Adjaye Associates was among three finalists to present concepts remotely for the new facility. The concepts were narrowed down from a longer list of candidates by the Board of Trustees’ Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee for Design. 

Adjaye's design was selected by a committee of Rice administrators and faculty, with input from the Rice Student Association and Graduate Student Association. The selected concept will soon begin the preliminary design process.

The architect’s winning concept is a three-story building and the building will cover a total of 80,000-square-foot (7,432-square-metre) area, it will incorporate the functions at the RMC, along with a Multicultural Center and a rooftop auditorium.

David Adjaye selected to design a new student center at Rice University in Houston, Texas

"We could not be more delighted than to have a design architect of the standing of Sir David Adjaye and Adjaye Associates for Rice’s new student center," said Rice President David Leebron. 

"Building on the insights of Rice graduates at his firm, Sir David’s competition submission reflected a deep understanding of the needs of our student community, including the need to support diversity and inclusion through a vibrant and prominent Multicultural Center that is a central element of this project."

"Sir David’s global perspective will, we are confident, result in a project that speaks not only to our community but to the broader world that increasingly sees Rice as a destination for global engagement and problem-solving" he added.

As the Rice University emphasizes, "the new facility will incorporate one important facet of the current RMC, a memorial to 10 Navy ROTC students who died when their transport plane crashed in 1953 and for whom the building is named."

University Architect George Ristow said such a competition for a major building at Rice is unprecedented. "We hosted a design competition, which is not something Rice typically does for a major capital project," he said. 

"Their concept is strong and it’s something we are very excited to pursue, but the design itself is very preliminary right now."

According to the statement of Kathi Dantley Warren, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, the project has received a $15 million major gift from the Brown Foundation and made it possible to move the project forward.

David Adjaye selected to design a new student center at Rice University in Houston, Texas

David Adjaye will work with Houston-based architecture firm Kendall/Heaton Associates on the project and Kendall/Heaton Associates will serve as executive architect and Tellepsen will provide preconstruction services.

The Rice University said that it will be the second building at Rice to be designed by a Royal Gold Medal winner, the first Rice building by a medalist was the 1981 addition to Anderson Hall by James Stirling.

The project is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2022. "Current plans are for a few elements of the RMC – the chapel and the cloisters – to remain, while the majority of the RMC would be demolished to make way for the new facility," added the Rice University. 

The project is scheduled to complete is in the fall of 2023.

All images curtesy of Adjaye Associates

> via Rice University