Rice University Herring Hall Renovation | William Marsh Rice University, Houston, Texas

Renovation required sensitivity to the original design of a building that represented an important turning point for the architecture of Rice University

In 2003 RHA renovated this existing building to accommodate the four departments of the School of Humanities at Rice University. The complex synthesis of a fresh design and a historical precedent—particularly for a renovation of this scale—drove the project.

As the original Cesar Pelli building represents an important turning point for the architecture of Rice University, the renovation required sensitivity to that original design. The skin of the three-story building was left untouched, while the new interior spaces respect the original structural rhythm and maintain the linear circulation spaces. Through the use of materials, RHA’s design opened up the interior spaces and created depth within the volume. Natural light was brought through the narrow building with the addition of interior glass walls and clerestories. RHA also designed new display systems with custom millwork for the display of artifacts within the departments and slides in the audiovisual library.

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