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School of Engineering to erect new building by 2018

Expansion program aims to accommodate rapidly developing technology and attract faculty to U.

The Corporation’s Committee on Facilities and Campus Planning has chosen architectural firm KieranTimberlake to design the School of Engineering’s new building.

Located along Manning Walk, west of current engineering building Barus and Holley, the new structure is part of the School of Engineering’s initiative to expand its faculty, programs and facilities.

Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey said the new building will be roughly 80,000 square feet. Construction will begin December 2015 or January 2016 with the intention of finishing the project by January 2018.

In order to clear the land for the new engineering facility, the Division of Applied Mathematics will move to a new 13,000-square-foot building, construction of which is set to begin in November. The applied math building, which will take roughly a year to complete, will be in the parking lot next to Barus and Holley.

Dean of Engineering Lawrence Larson, along with others from the School of Engineering, and the Committee on Facilities and Campus Planning  considered many architectural firms to spearhead the project, but KieranTimberlake emerged as the committee’s first choice, Carey said.

Carey cited “the combination of their past experience” and “the preliminary sense of the site and program” as key factors in selecting the firm for the project.

Stephen Maiorisi, vice president for facilities management, added that “aside from design excellence, we were looking for firms that were really, really good at collaboration.”

The new engineering building will require intensive infrastructure and technology for science research, in addition to being flexible enough to accommodate changing research demands. KieranTimberlake seemed to fit these qualifications, Larson said.

“The building we design has to be able to accommodate not only the science that we want to do today but also the science we might want to do 20 or 30 years from now,” Larson said. “We’re working really closely with KieranTimberlake to figure out how to design a building to foster that kind of evolution and interdisciplinary research over many, many decades.”

The new building also has ambitious sustainability goals. “We really want this building to be a model of sustainability and frugal energy use,” Larson said. “We really want it to be a model for the nation.”

He added that he hopes the project’s upgraded research facilities and design will attract prospective students and faculty members.

“Frankly, it’s much more exciting to have students and faculty come into a brand-new, high-tech building that embodies some of the most advanced thinking about what it means to do engineering education,” Larson said. “We see the new building as being really important for recruiting the best faculty in the world to come to Brown and teach and do research here.”

Carey said the new building will enable faculty growth and collaboration.

KieranTimberlake has not yet created a schematic for the new engineering building but is starting to discuss with University planning and policy committees how the space will be used, how architects will incorporate interdisciplinary collaboration into the design, and how the building will interact with the rest of campus.

KieranTimberlake won the Technology in Architectural Practice Building Information Modeling Award and the Institute Honor Award for Architecture from the 2014 American Institute of Architects, in addition to receiving the 2010 National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and over 160 design citations worldwide, according to the firm’s website.



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