The Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University

  • Location
    Houston, TX
  • Completion Date
    April, 2008
  • Size
    5 acres
  • Team
    Architect: Thomas Phifer and Partners
    Civil Engineer: Ulrich Engineers
    Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore, Haynes Whaley Associates
    Engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber
    Lighting Designer: Fisher Marantz Stone
    Irrigation Designer: Glueck
    Water Feature Designer: Formosa Fountains
  • Awards
    • 2010: ASLA National Honor Award for Design, for The Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University
    • 2010: AIA National Honor Award
    • 2010: AS&U Landscape Architectural Citation
    • 2009: ASLA Texas Chapter Honor Award, Design, for The Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University
  • Photography
    Sean Fleming, Paul Hester, Jereck Boss, Scott Frances

About

Over the past fifteen years, Rice University has sought to create more places for interaction and discovery, in both buildings and landscape spaces. With a small intervention– the addition of the Brochstein Pavilion — the university‚Äôs central quadrangle has been reimagined as its social center. Although the six-thousand-square-foot pavilion is modest in size, it is activated and expanded by a ten- thousand-square-foot outdoor terrace that works synergistically as a campus hub. A series of flexible garden rooms that integrate with the pavilion restore original axial relationships in the larger campus and reconnect internal circulation.

A grove of forty-eight lacebark elms, set in a field of decomposed granite, responds to the building grid and creates a comfortable relationship with adjacent buildings. Two low concrete fountains define the space under the tree canopy, and movable seating accommodates impromptu gatherings of students and faculty. Additional plantings of live oaks and improved pedestrian paths reinforce the existing framework of the quadrangle.

A study in restraint and the purity of form, the Brochstein Pavilion creates a powerful spatial framework that has transformed an unstructured, underutilized quadrangle into the center of student activity on campus.

With sound and shade as a calming backdrop, the serene outdoor spaces invite people to gather together, and to linger.

An allee of lacebark elms, together with linear fountains and comfortable seating, creates an oasis for gathering.

The Brochstein Pavilion in the Lab

The Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University

The Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University

  • PLANTING
  • WATER
  • WATER
  • CARBON, ENERGY + AIR

0

trees were planted or preserved on site

0 inches

of annual rainfall can be intercepted by the site’s trees, exceeding the site’s average annual rainfall of 49.6 inches

0%

of surfaces are permeable

0lbs

of annual carbon sequestration from site trees, which offsets 2.3 cars per year

PLANTING

0

trees were planted or preserved on site

WATER

0 inches

of annual rainfall can be intercepted by the site’s trees, exceeding the site’s average annual rainfall of 49.6 inches

WATER

0%

of surfaces are permeable

CARBON, ENERGY + AIR

0lbs

of annual carbon sequestration from site trees, which offsets 2.3 cars per year