Construction at Rice: The First 100 Years

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Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion

A generous gift from alumna Suzanne Deal Booth ’77 allowed Rice University to install a work by American artist James Turrell. Located adjacent to the Shepherd School of Music, the James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace is acoustically engineered to host musical performances and to act as a laboratory for music school students on select days after sunset. Constructed of grass, concrete, stone, and composite steel, the pyramidal structure is equipped with a LED light sequence that projects onto the ceiling and through an aperture in the 72 sqft knife-edge roof just before sunrise and at sunset.

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Lovett Hall (Formerly Administration Building)

The Administration Building, the first building on campus, was designed by architects Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson. Ralph Adams Cram was known for his churches, libraries, and schools before taking on Rice Institute's master plan. Renamed Lovett Hall in 1947 to honor President Emeritus Edgar Odell Lovett, the building houses the Admission Office and Welcome Center.

Mechanical Laboratory and Central Plant (Formerly Power House)

Also designed by architects Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, the Mechanical Laboratory was the second building on campus. The Mechanical Laboratory and conjoined Power House served as the campus’ only power plant until South Plant was built nearly a century later. The Power House is now called the Central Plant and still provides power to a majority of the campus. The 140 feet tall “Campanile” disguises as the Central Plant smokestack.

Will Rice College - Old Dorm (Formerly South Hall)

South Hall was the first section of a future residential quadrangle for men that never came to be due to the development of the residential college system. The building includes columns made from layers of brick and stone, particularly nice stone capitals and a tile frieze at the top of its tower. When Rice adopted the residential college system in 1957, South Hall became Will Rice College, Rice’s second founded residential college. Named for William M. Rice, Jr., the nephew of the university's founder William Marsh Rice, Will Rice College was an all-male college until 1978.

Baker College - Commons (Formerly Central Dining Hall)

The Central Dining Hall was one of the four original buildings on campus, all of which were designed and constructed by Cram, Goodhue, & Ferguson of Boston, Massachusetts. The building served as the dining hall for the entire campus for 43 years. With its high vaulted ceiling, engraved oak beams, and Elizabethan design, the building now serves as a common meeting space and dining area for Baker College.


Herzstein Hall (Formerly Physics Building)

The Physics Building was the first building to be completed after the formal opening of the university and was also designed by Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson. Harold A. Wilson, one of President Lovett's star faculty recruits, influenced the building design and chose the laboratory equipment. People standing in the acoustic niches on either side of the main doors can whisper to each other without being overheard by people standing between them. The Physics Building was later renamed to Herzstein Hall.

Baker College - Old Wing (Formerly East Hall)

East Hall, built adjacent to South Hall, features bay windows inspired by the architecture of Bhutan. When Rice adopted the residential college system in 1957, East Hall became the old wing of Baker College, Rice’s first founded residential college. Baker college is named in honor of Captain James A. Baker, friend and attorney of William Marsh Rice, and first chair of the Rice Board of Governors. He served as the Rice Institute's first chairman on the Board of Trustees from June 24, 1891, until his death in 1941.


Hanszen College - Old Section (Formerly West Hall)

West Hall was built in the neo-gothic style as a part of the original campus construction plan by Boston architectural firm Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson. Among its features are glazed ceramic discs made by the Enfield P&T Co, Enfield, Pennsylvania, a cloister arcade supported on piers rather than columns and stone detailing on its windows and stairway doors. In 1957, West Hall became the Old Section of Hanszen College, Rice’s third founded residential college. Old Section contains a variety of rooms with community bathrooms.



Wiess President’s House

The mansion on the corner of Sunset and Main was the home to Harry Carothers Wiess and his family. Olga Keith Wiess donated the home in both their names to Rice University in 1974. In 1990, after being leased for years, the house stayed unoccupied due to poor living conditions. Wiess children Margaret Wiess Elkins and Caroline Wiess Law and their families, Lee and Joe Jamail and their family, and Houston Endowment came together to renovate the house and gardens. The house now serves as the Rice University president's residence.


Keck Hall (Formerly Chemistry Building)

The Chemistry Building, designed by Cram & Ferguson with architect William Ward Watkin, provided 54,000 sqft of state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms. The building was renamed Dell Butcher Hall in 1989, then was renamed back to the Chemistry Building in 1997 after a new building for chemistry was built and became Dell Butcher Hall. Rice then renovated the original Chemistry Building, hiring FKP Architects to gut the interior to create world-class labs and flexible spaces that encourage collaboration for the molecular biophysics, biochemistry and cell biology and bioengineering departments. The building was rededicated as Howard Keck Hall to honor former chairman and president of the W. M. Keck Foundation in 2000.


Cohen House

George S. Cohen, president of Foley's Department Store, provided funds to establish a faculty club on campus. His gift honored his parents Robert and Agnes Cohen of Galveston on their 70th birthdays. Designed by William Ward Watkin, the club's lounge with its stone fireplace and polychromed wood ceiling and the other rooms became popular gathering places. The club added a large dining room designed by Lloyd & Morgan in 1958-1959. Robert F. White & Assoc. create the garden and fountain in 1960.



Anderson Hall

M.D. Anderson Hall inaugurated Rice's post-World War II construction program. Housing classrooms and the School of Architecture, the building is named for cotton exporter Monroe D. Anderson, whose foundation helped Rice purchase Rincon Oil Field. Architects Staub & Rather designed the building, in consultation with Architecture School Chairman William Ward Watkin. J.T. Rather Jr. is the first Rice architecture alumnus to design a building for the Rice campus. John Staub was a student of Ralph Adams Cram, the design architect for the original Rice campus buildings.


Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory

The Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory, built with a gift from J.S. and Lillie Frank Abercrombie and their daughter Josephine E. Abercrombie '46, was designed by architects Staub & Rather with consult from William Ward Watkin. A sculpture by William McVey '27, the best-known artist alumnus of Rice at the time, completed the project.


Fondren Library

Funded by a generous gift from Ella Cochrum Fondren and family, Rice built Fondren Library, named to honor Walter W. Fondren. Architects Staub & Rather in consultation with William Ward Watkin designed the building, which includes relief plaques that depict the development of writing by Beaumont, Texas sculptor Herring Coe.

Original Wiess College (Formerly Wiess Hall/North Hall)

Wiess Hall carried the name "North Hall" until its dedication in March 1950. It was laid out as an E-shaped building, with three north-south wings, joined on the north ends by a long east-west spine, forming two open quadrangles. The building was two stories high except for the three-story center wing. The hall was designed to house about 200 students in 20 single and 90 double rooms. Each room at Wiess opened directly to an exterior walkway that wrapped around the entire building. This design incorporated two features that were innovative at the time: every room had a semi-private bathroom and almost every room had windows on at least two sides—an important adaptation in the years before air conditioning. In 1957, Wiess Hall became Wiess College, one of the original five colleges created when the residential college system was implemented. The original residential building suffered from rapid deterioration in the 1990s and was demolished in 2002 after a new building for Wiess College was built.

Huff House (Formerly O’Connor House)

Designed by architect firm Staub & Rather, the O’Connor House was built as the residential home of the University’s president. Although the University's first president Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett never got the chance to live in the home, it includes the breakfast room, tea room, and "imperative" sleeping porches that he had desired. By the time the house was completed, William V. Houston had become the University's second President and the first resident of the O’Connor House. After the Wiess House on Sunset Boulevard was renovated in the early 2000’s, current President David Leebron and his family moved there, and the O’Connor House became the home to the Center for Career Development (CCD) and the Office of Alumni Affairs. The building was renamed to Huff House after alumnus Peter Huff '59 and wife Nancy Larson Huff made a generous gift to fund additional renovations in 2010.



Rice Stadium

Rice Stadium, a spectacular engineering landmark in Houston, was designed and built by a full team of Rice architectural and engineering graduates. The project team included: project manager Herbert Allen '29; architects Hermon Lloyd ‘31, William B. Morgan ’27, Milton McGinty ‘27 and Bradford McGinty ‘40; structural engineer Walter P. Moore ‘27 of contractor Brown & Root; and engineer Mason G. Lockwood ’27. The 70,000-seat stadium is home to the Rice football team and was the location in which former U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave the famous “We choose to go to the moon” speech in 1962.

Tudor Fieldhouse (Formerly Rice Gymnasium)

Home to Rice's basketball and volleyball teams, Tudor Fieldhouse contains a 5,750-seat arena known as "Autry Court." The court was funded by Mrs. Edward W. Kelley in honor of her late mother Mrs. James L. Autry. Previously known as Rice Gymnasium, the building was renamed in honor of Rice alum Bobby Tudor, who spearheaded the 2008 renovation of the facility with a multimillion-dollar donation.


Baker College - New Wing

With the adoption of the residential college system, there was a need to increase the number of rooms available for students. Next to what was then called “East Hall,” a residential wing was built and designed by architects Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson. The New Wing and East Hall then became Baker College, the first residential college to be founded. In 2010, after an additional residential wing was added to Baker College, the original L-shaped New Wing was split in half with one section staying with Baker and the other going to Lovett College.

Hanszen College - New Section

With the development of the residential college system at Rice, the 1916 building known as West Hall became the Old Section of Hanszen College, Rice’s third residential college. In response to the expanding undergraduate enrollment, a new housing wing “New Section” was built for Hanszen College. New Section stands across the quad from Old Section and consists primarily of quad rooms that contain a common room and suite-style bathrooms.

Will Rice College - New Dorm

With the adoption of the residential college system, a new building was constructed near what was then called “South Hall.” Both South Hall and the new building (called “New Dorm”) became the dorms for the future Will Rice College. New Dorm was a building affectionately loved by those who lived in its various 8-man and 4-man suites, a living arrangement that bred- in true 50s fashion - free love and friendship among the inhabitants of the dorm. But New Dorm was also infested with another phenomenon of the 50s - asbestos. Falling apart and crumbly with asbestos, New Dorm was demolished in 2009 and replaced by a new energy efficient building in 2010.

South Colleges Magisters Houses

With the inception of the residential college system in 1957, each of the all-male colleges on the South side of campus was built a house for their college’s Magister and family. While the original Baker College Magister House and the original Will Rice College Magister House are still home to their respective Magisters today, the original Hanszen College Magister House now serves as the Housing & Dining Building and the original Wiess College Magister House is home to the Hanszen College Magisters. Today’s Wiess College Magisters live in the Wilson House, which was built in 2010.

Jones College - "North" and "South"

Jones College, named to honor Mary Gibbs Jones, wife of Houston philanthropist and Houston Endowment founder Jesse H. Jones, was the first housing for women on campus. Consisting of two four-story structures named "North" and "South," the building was designed by architects Lloyd & Morgan. It was the first building designed specifically as a residential college and also the first building to be centrally air-conditioned. Lloyd & Morgan used pink marble in the construction of Jones College to indicate its status as housing for female students. Along with all-male colleges on the South side of campus, a house was built for Jones College Magisters, which was later replaced by a new home in 2002.


Anderson Biological Laboratories

The M.D. Anderson Biological Laboratory, designed by George Pierce and Abel B. Pierce, opened after the M.D. Anderson Foundation made a gift in honor of its benefactor, Monroe D. Anderson. The building reflects the style of architecture popular in Texas in the 1950s. It forms part of the "Court of Sciences" quadrangle developed after the William Ward Watkin/Ralph Adams Cram era.

Hamman Hall

Hamman Hall, funded by a gift from Mary Josephine Milby Hamman in memory of her husband George Hamman, was designed by George Pierce and Abel B. Pierce. It houses a 498-seat theater appropriate for dramatic productions, musical performances, and lectures.

Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratories

Designed by George Pierce and Abel B. Pierce, Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratories was built with a gift from the daughters of trustee Harry C. Wiess and his wife Olga Keith Wiess. The building houses the Department of Earth Science.

Rice Memorial Center

The Rice Memorial Center (RMC) and Rice Chapel, funded by trustee J. Newton Rayzor '17 and his wife, was designed by architect Harvin C. Moore '27. The well in the cloister of Rome's Early Christian Basilica of St. John Lateran influences Moore's design for the chapel, which was dedicated on February 8, 1959.



Rayzor Hall

Rayzor Hall was designed by Staub, Rather & Howze. Named for lawyer, towing company executive and alumnus trustee J. Newton Rayzor '17 and his wife Eugenia Porter Rayzor, the building housed School of Humanities until the Humanities Building was built in 2000. The building now houses the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication.


Brown College - “The Tower”

With Jones College being the only all women's college on campus, there was a severe housing shortage for Rice women in the 60's. Through the generous donation of George R. Brown and his wife Alice Pratt Brown, a new women's residential college was established in the memory of their sister-in-law, Margarett Root Brown. The original building became known as “The Tower” after Brown College was expanded in 2002.

Rice Health Center (Formerly Brown College Commons)

The original building of the Brown College Commons, located next to the dormitory tower, served as the College’s dining hall for nearly 50 years. However, when Brown College expanded in 2002, a new commons was built and the original commons became the building for the Rice Health Center.

Ryon Engineering Laboratory

Designed by architects Wirtz, Calhoun, Tungate & Jackson, Ryon Engineering Laboratory was built with a gift from Lewis B. Ryon, Jr., professor emeritus of civil engineering, and his wife Mae E. Ryon. When it comes to concrete batching and curing, strength testing, welding and machining, Ryon Lab has been the go-to place for Rice’s civil, environmental and mechanical engineering faculty and students.

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (Formerly Hicks Kitchen)

Hicks Kitchen was originally the central food-service kitchen on campus, but then became storage space after North and South Kitchen Serveries were built in 2002. In 2009, Hicks Kitchen was completely renovated with a generous gift from Rice University alumnus and trustee M. Kenneth Oshman ’62 and his wife Barbara to established the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). The OEDK includes conference rooms, a classroom, a wet lab, rapid prototyping equipment, large-format printers, a designated woodworking area, a machine shop and access to a welding shop, providing engineering students with the space and resources to complete their design projects. The OEDK is the first renovated building on campus to be LEED Gold-Certified.


Space Science and Technology Building

Immediately following former President John F. Kennedy space exploration address in Rice Stadium in 1662, Rice became the first university to establish a space science department. The Space Science and Technology building was built a few years later to house the department.


Allen Center

Designed by architects Lloyd, Morgan & Jones, the Allen Business Center honors Rice donor and governor Herbert Allen and his wife Helen Allen. In 1987, Trustees authorized a 4th-floor expansion. The Allen Business Center houses the President’s Office.


Herman Brown Hall for Mathematical Sciences

Funds by the Brown Foundation and from a National Science Foundation Systems Grant, the Herman Brown Hall for Mathematical Sciences is named for Trustee George R. Brown's elder brother and business partner. Architects George Pierce and Abel B. Pierce designed the building.

Lovett College

Named after Rice's first president, Edgar Odell Lovett College is a six-story residential dorm with distinctive brutalist architecture. The concrete grating that surrounds the third, fourth, and fifth floors is a design feature intended to make Lovett riot-proof in reaction to the student riots of the late 1960’s. This grating now protects Lovett students from hurricanes, allowing the students of Lovett College to remain in their rooms through both Hurricane Rita and the most recent Hurricane Ike.



Rice Media Center

French art collectors Dominique and Jean de Menil founded the Rice Media Center and commissioned Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry to design the building. The Rice Media Center was built as temporary housing for the Institute for the Arts and to provide interim space for the art and art history department’s painting studios while Sewall Hall was under construction. Now housing the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts, the facility contains a 125-seat screening auditorium.

Sid Richardson College

A gift from the Sid Richardson Foundation funded the construction of Sid Richardson College. With seven floors - each of which is split into an upper and lower level, effectively giving the building fourteen stories - Sid Richardson College is the tallest building on the Rice campus. Unusual among Rice buildings, the 153 feet high-rise was a response to a shortage of University land and was designed by the architectural firm Neuhaus and Taylor.


Sewall Hall

Blanche Harding Sewall '17 provided funds for Sewall Hall as a memorial to her late husband Cleveland Sewall. Houston architects Lloyd, Morgan, & Jones designed the building to match the style of the original Cram & Ferguson buildings in the academic quad. The 117,000 sqft building houses the Rice Art Gallery, classrooms, and a large lecture hall.



Seeley G. Mudd Computer Science Laboratory

The Seeley G. Mudd Computer Science Laboratory, or Mudd Lab for short, was constructed with a major grant from the Los Angeles-based Seeley G. Mudd Fund. Houston architect Charles R. Tapley and his associate Dean A. Johns designed the 28,000 sqft building. Mudd Lab was built for the Institute for Computer Services and Applications, but now houses the university’s Information Technology Division.


Herring Hall

Architects Cesar Pelli and Associates designed Robert R. Herring Hall to house the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration. Named after a former chairman of the Rice Board of Trustees, the building was remodeled to serve departments in the School of Humanities after the Jones School moved to McNair Hall in 2002. To commemorate their participation in the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations held at Rice in 1990, participating countries placed stone blocks in the courtyard.


Mechanical Engineering Building

With a generous gift from independent oil operator and Rice Trustee, John L. Cox and his wife Maurine Cox, Rice was able to construct the Mechanical Engineering Building to house the Mechanical Engineering department. Architecture firm Calhoun, Tungate, Jackson & Dill designed the building.


Ley Student Center

Architects Cesar Pelli & Associates designed the Ley Student Center, funded with gifts from Judy Ley Allen '61, Robert M. Ley, Stephen W. Ley and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Espinoza to honor Audrey Moody Ley '35 and Wendel D. Ley '32. Connected by a loggia to the Rice Memorial Center, the building houses the Student Activities Office, Center for Civic Leadership, Office of Academic Advising, the Rice Bookstore, and Coffeehouse.



Alice Pratt Brown Hall

Designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, the Alice Pratt Brown Hall is a first-class performance and teaching facility, housing the Shepherd School of Music. The 120,000 sqft building includes a 1,000 seat concert hall, a 250-seat recital hall, a Grand Organ hall, an opera studio, 65 practice rooms and 54 teaching studios.

George R. Brown Hall

Cambridge Seven Associates and RWS Architects designed the three-story George R. Brown Hall with Earl Wall Associates of San Diego as laboratory design consultants. Named for the former chairman of the Board of Trustees at Rice George R. Brown, this 107,000 sqft building houses the Wiess School of Natural Sciences.


Anne and Charles Duncan Hall

Named after former Chairman of the Rice Board of Trustees Charles W. Duncan Jr. '47 and his wife Anne Smith Duncan, the Anne and Charles Duncan Hall houses the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the departments of Computer Science, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Statistics. The 125,000 sqft facility consists of an auditorium, two lecture theaters, five seminar rooms, and more than two-hundred office/research studios. British philosopher-architect John Outram, known for his provocative use of interior and exterior decoration, has filled the space with rich symbology such as the ceiling mural "The Birth of Consciousness," the manifestation of a river valley plan and a hidden temple.


Dell Butcher Hall

Named after former Trustee E. Dell Butcher '34, “Dell Butcher Hall” was the name of the building now known as Keck Hall from 1989 until 1997 when an additional chemistry building was built. Designed by architects Antoine Predock with Brooks/Coronado, the new 83,000 sqft facility became the new Dell Butcher Hall.

James A. III Baker Hall

With inspiration from the original campus buildings by Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson and William Ward Watkin, James A. III Baker Hall was designed by architect Thomas Beeby. The 60,000 sqft building houses the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and School of Social Sciences.



Humanities Building

Designed by Washington, D.C. architect Allan Greenberg, the Humanities Building includes the Pitman Tower, the Phoebe and Bobby Tudor Conference Room, and the Lee and Joe Jamail Courtyard. The building is home to the School of Humanities and to the departments of history, philosophy, and religious studies.

Reckling Park at Cameron Field

Houston architects and Rice alumni Jeffrey Ryan '67 and Guy Jackson '71 design Reckling Park, home of the Rice Owls baseball team. Named for Thomas R. Reckling III and his wife Isla Winston Cowan Reckling, the new baseball stadium was built on old Cameron Field.


Brown College - “The Quads” and College Commons

Designed by architect Michael Graves, the new four-floor wing of Brown was dubbed the “The Quads” for the building’s suite-style rooms. The first floor of the Quads has two classrooms and Private Dining Room, and the office of Brown’s Coordinator. A new Commons was built along with the Quads, and the unique architecture of the commons makes it very iconic. The small foyer at the entrance is known as the Outer Commons. The original Brown Commons, next to the Brown College Tower, now serves as the Rice University Health Center.

Jones College - "Central," New Magister House, and College Commons

Along with the new wing and commons of Brown College, Michael Graves simultaneously designed a new wing and commons for neighboring Jones College. This four-story building, "Central," was built in between the North and South wings of Jones College, connecting original buildings at every level except the ground floor. The new Jones College Commons replaced the original commons and connects to the North Servery, which serves Brown and Martel as well. In addition, Graves designed a new home for the Jones College Magisters, which replaced the original house that was built in 1957.

Martel College

Established with a generous donation from the eponymous Marian and Speros Martel Foundation, Marian and Speros P. Martel College became Rice’s ninth residential college. Designed by architect Michael Graves, Martel College is a self-contained 107,032 sqft complex housing a 232-bed dormitory, classrooms, study areas, a library, dining commons, apartments for resident advisers and visiting faculty, and a separate 4,950 sqft house for the College Magister and family.

North Servery

North Servery is a 25,122 sqft kitchen shared by Martel, Jones, and Brown Colleges. By organizing three dining halls around a centralized servery, architect Michael Graves was able to create efficiencies in the university’s food service operations. The lessons learned from this project were then implemented campus-wide.

Wiess College

A new building for Wiess College was built after the original 1949 building for Wiess College suffered from rapid deterioration in the 1990s and was completely demolished in 2002, making Wiess the only residential college at Rice to relocate from one building to another. Designed by architect Machado Silvetti, the new 228-bed dormitory surrounding a central public courtyard contains suite-style rooms and common spaces such as a library, computer rooms, seminar rooms, and recreation rooms. Wiess College is currently the southwestern most residential college, located adjacent to Hanszen and the South Power Plant.

South Servery Complex

Along with the construction of the new building for Wiess College, architect Machado Silvetti also designed three additional facilities making up the South Servery complex. The South Servery complex contains the Wiess College Commons, the Hanszen College Commons, and South servery surmounted by a large public terrace overlooking the nearby playing fields.

McNair Hall

The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business was originally housed in Herring Hall, but due to advanced technology, increased interdisciplinary partnerships, and the enrollment of more students, a new facility became necessary. McNair Hall now houses the Jones Graduate School of Business and was designed by Robert A. M. Stern, the award-winning architect and dean of the Yale School of Architecture.


Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion

Inspired by the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, Houston architect Raymond Brochstein and his wife Susan fund the Brochstein Pavilion. The building is capped by a steel and aluminum trellis structure which extends in all directions to cover and shade the surrounding seating terrace. The interior of the Brochstein Pavilion contains Flo Paris Bakery and Cafe and casual seating groups, designed for impromptu gatherings. A series of wide double doors at the pavilion connect the interior seating areas with the surrounding terrace, opening the pavilion to the landscape and welcoming students and faculty.

Rice Children's Campus

Rice’s child-care center is a single-story, 9,750 sqft building located at 5504 Chaucer Drive. The building is designed to provide a safe and enriching educational environment for the children of Rice employees and offers care for up to 86 children; ages newborn to five years. The Rice Children’s Campus is LEED Silver-Certified.

Youngkin Center

The renovation of Tudor Fieldhouse included the demolition of the existing one-story administration area, replacing it with a two-story addition, Youngkin Center. The Youngkin Center, named after generous donor Glenn Youngkin '90, houses an academic center for student-athletes, a training center, and offices for the coaching staff.

Rice Village Apartments

The Rice Village Apartments are located one block west of Rice University on Shakespeare St. between Morningside Dr. and Kirby Dr. The four-story residential building, totaling 119,000 sqft, features 237 beds in 137 units, a bike room and dedicated shuttle service to and from the university. This project enabled the university to provide affordable housing in close proximity to campus for its graduate student population.


BioSciences Research Collaborative

The BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) is an innovative 10-story, a 477,000 sqft building where scientists and educators from Rice University and other Texas Medical Center institutions work together to perform leading research that benefits human medicine and health. Thoughtfully designed by architect firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to facilitate and encourage interdisciplinary interactions among inter-institutional researchers, the BRC is equipped for cutting-edge laboratory, theoretical and computational investigations. Research encompasses a wide range of disciplines from chemistry to bioengineering and focuses largely on improving human wellness through science. The BRC is LEED Gold-Certified.

McMurtry College

Named for its generous donors and 1956 Rice alumni Burton and Deedee McMurtry, McMurtry College was built concurrently with Duncan College as a critical part of Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, expanding the undergraduate population by 30%. McMurtry College construction includes a U-shaped dorm building that holds 328 students, a college commons, and magister house. Designed by Hopkins Architects and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, McMurtry College is LEED Gold-Certified.

Duncan College

Named for former U.S. Secretary of Energy Charles Duncan ’47 and his wife Anne, Duncan College was built concurrently with McMurtry College as a critical part of Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, expanding the undergraduate population by 30%. Duncan College construction includes a U-shaped dorm building that holds 328 students, a college commons, and magister house. Duncan College was the first LEED student residential housing in the United States. Designed by Hopkins Architects and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, the college features many innovative "Green" building systems including a vegetative roof that holds soil and protects plant life, bathroom pods, and HVAC infrared room sensors. Duncan College is LEED Gold-Certified, the first LEED Gold-certified construction project at Rice University.

West Servery

Designed by Hopkins Architects and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, West Servery a kitchen shared by Duncan and McMurtry College. The kitchen and servery areas are centered between the dormitory buildings and their Commons.

Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center

Designed by architect firm Lake|Flato Architects Inc., the Gibbs Recreation Center is a 103,000 sqft fitness facility which features a 2,400 sqft recreation pool bedecked with a row of palm trees, a 50-meter competition pool, two indoor and two outdoor basketball courts, an indoor soccer and hockey arena, four racquetball courts, two squash courts, a 9,000 sqft weight and cardio workout room and four multipurpose rooms for group fitness and dance classes. The building also features two state-of-the-art classrooms and a personal training and fitness assessment center. An added outdoor adventure center allows members to rent outdoor equipment and to plan white-water rafting, camping, and rock climbing trips. The Gibbs Recreation is LEED Silver-Certified.

South Plant

The South Plant, a 14,200 sqft building with over 1,100 feet of tunnel, supports the growth of Rice University by providing additional utility capacity. Located south of Wiess College at Entrance 4, the South Plant powers the ten-story BioSciences Research Collaborative at University and Main. The plant features many sustainable attributes including condensate harvesting, a green roof, and photovoltaic arrays.



Abe and Annie Seibel Servery

Seibel Servery is the 22,000 sqft dining facility for the Will Rice and Lovett Colleges, with future expansion planned for Sid Richardson College. Designed by Hopkins Architects, the structural steel frame is expressed as part of the window wall and ceiling finishes, with carefully detailed thermal breaks to mitigate moisture issues. The steel trusses are accentuated below the backdrop of a wood-paneled ceiling. These elements support the roof in a manner similar to an archer's bow. At night, the structure illuminates the adjacent quad.

Baker College - New New Wing

Called the “New New Wing,” the 2010 addition to Baker College earned Rice its 10th LEED certification. The new four-floor wing contains numerous doubles and suites, the renovated Baker Kitchen, a new computer room, the coordinator's office, and a community kitchen. Baker College’s New New Wing is LEED Silver-Certified.

Will Rice College - Newer Dorm

Suffering from asbestos, Will Rice College’s 1957 Wing was completely demolished and replaced by a brand new residential wing. This new four-story bed tower was completed within fifteen months and earned Rice University another LEED certification. Almost 90 percent of all construction and demolition waste during the renovation project was recycled; a total of 2,188 cubic yards of waste was diverted from the landfill. Newer Dorm is estimated to be about 30 percent more energy-efficient and is LEED Silver-Certified.


Brockman Hall for Physics

The Brockman Hall for Physics is a 110,000 sqft facility that includes vibration and noise controlled underground laboratories to support work in atomic, molecular and optical physics; biophysics; condensed matter physics; nanoengineering and photonics. Designed by architect firm KieranTimberlake, the building allows Rice to create a state-of-the-art facility that meets the exacting requirements of modern physics and consolidates its research in fundamental and applied physics. In addition to vibration control, laboratories in the new building have a better temperature, humidity, and airflow control. Brockman Hall for Physics is LEED Gold-Certified.

Wilson House

Named for William L. Wilson, a longtime resident associate of Wiess College and professor who died in 2009, the new Wiess Magisters’ House was built to be closer proximity to Wiess College. The project scope included the design and construction of a LEED-certified 3,800 sqft two-story house, including an attached garage. The Wiess Magisters’ House is LEED for Homes Silver-Certified.

Information Source: Rice Centennial Timeline, Rice Historical Society, the Rice University Wikipedia Page, and Rice University: An Architectural Tour by Stephen Fox.