PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Construction on a new building for Brown’s Division of Applied Mathematics began Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. The three-story, 13,000-square-foot structure will provide office space for faculty, students, and staff, as well as new conference and meeting space.
The new building will sit at the corner of Hope and George streets on a parcel currently used as a parking lot for the Barus and Holley building. The site is close to 182 George St., which currently houses most of the division.
Michael McCormick, assistant vice president for facilities management, said the University is taking great care to make sure the new facility is a good match for its residential surroundings.
“This is a site where buildings transition from the rather large scale of nearby research buildings to the residential scale and character of an important historic district,” McCormick said. “The design of the new building needs to feel comfortable in both settings. This is one of the most difficult design challenges we've faced in a long time.”
Those considerations will inform building’s height, materials, and detailing.
“At its core, this is a University building, so it won’t look like a house. But there will be a shift in the geometry on the third floor to create a strong cornice line and attic story that is common to the historic houses in the neighborhood,” McCormick said. “Detailing around the windows and at material transitions will also be quite rich.”
Architecture Research Office, a firm based in New York City, is overseeing the design of the structure, and Shawmut Design and Construction will manage the construction. Landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol is planning the building’s surroundings, including green space between the new structure and the existing applied mathematics building.
The structure is part of a project to expand Brown’s School of Engineering. The new engineering building will be constructed to the west of Barus and Holley, the existing engineering facility, along Manning Walk, opposite Prince Engineering Lab. The placement requires the removal of two small residential-style buildings that currently house several applied mathematics faculty and students.
“While we will miss the character of our two old buildings,” said Bjorn Sandstede, chair of the Division of Applied Mathematics, “we are excited about getting a new custom-designed, more functional building that will provide more open spaces and meeting rooms to facilitate collaborations.”
Preparation of the site for the new applied mathematics building began on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Completion and occupancy is scheduled for December 2015. Construction for the new engineering building is tentatively slated to begin in November 2015, with final completion expected in February 2018.
- Kevin Stacey