January 09, 2015

Rice Physics Lab Wins AIA Honor Award

On the north façade, a fritted glass curtainwall displays a pattern inspired by English physicist Sir Roger Penrose and suggests the scientific activities inside the building.
© Peter Aaron/OTTO

We are delighted to announce that the Brockman Hall for Physics at Rice University has won an Institute Honor Award for 2015 from the American Institute of Architects. The award is the design profession's highest recognition of excellence, and this year, 23 recipients were selected from a pool of 500 submissions from across the globe. 

Project Description from Architect Magazine

According to [James] Timberlake, Brockman Hall represents “one of the more perfect examples” of his firm's holistic strategy of design. KieranTimberlake “seemed to find inspiration in the overwhelming technical constraints and resonance in the building's important research mission,” Rice's [Barbara] Bryson says, noting that other firms might have been daunted by the building's litany of programmatic demands. “The result is a building that works brilliantly while providing an … elegant home for some of the best physicists in the world.” 
See the full description.

Jury Comments

This project is a total knockout in every way—from the incredible planning to the spectacular detailing—yet it is extremely simple and very flexible. 
Gorgeous ceilings—pipe, conduits, everything is so neatly coordinated! Even the mechanical room is beautiful! The palette of neutral colors is very warm and beautiful. 
This is a very tight building in the way it fits the site, but it's very comfortable on all sides. The photos do not do it justice.