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RICE University
SID RICHARDSON Residential College


Architect |

Collaborating Architect |

Structural Engineer |

General Contractor |

Completion |


Barkow Leibinger

Ensight Haynes Whaley

Anslow Bryant

January 2021

Ensight Haynes Whaley was the structural engineer of record for the Sid Richardson residential college, completed in 2021. The 148,000 square foot residential college is a trio of linked structures (two, five, and 12 stories) that sit alongside the building it was commissioned to replace, a 14-story tower. The complex’s dynamic interiors are the common areas that link the three buildings at their lower level, in particular the dining hall—a 300-seat space defined by a triangulated grid of concrete columns and exposed ceiling beams. A lattice of wood slats between the concrete beams provides acoustical dampening and is equipped with strip lighting set slightly askew to create a bit of visual play. 

The college provides “Sidizens” with 97 double units (each with its own bathroom) and 118 singles (which share common bathrooms), the dining hall, a duplex magister’s apartment, and three apartments for advisors. While the 12- and five-story structures are mostly residential, the two-story building houses workshops and makerspaces, with a roof terrace that serves as a central social space for the college. It is shaded by a space-frame pergola of blackened steel, with slats in fan formation, its language borrowed from the concrete frame of the lower levels.

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