Rice University began site work in summer of 2021 for the $152 million Engineering and Science Building in Houston. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill with Scientia Architects as laboratory design consultant, the 266,000-sf structure will provide state-of-the-art labs, maker spaces, seminar rooms, interactive gathering areas, classrooms, and a dedicated prototyping facility. Flexible office areas will include touchdown spaces for faculty, graduate students, and staff. Accelerating the translation of research discoveries into intellectual property, the technology-rich building will enable students and investigators to work with industry partners as part of a dynamic curriculum of experiential education.
Replacing the historic Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory, the facility will feature interdisciplinary lab neighborhoods where investigators will explore new materials, quantum technologies, and energy solutions. Comprising four stories and a basement level, the project will define a unified engineering quad to coalesce teams of researchers into one powerful ecosystem. The building will include an expansive lobby, a spiral staircase, and a café. On the top floor, a multipurpose reception suite with a stunning outdoor terrace will accommodate meetings, events, and research activities.