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The highly visible plot of land on Rice's campus on the corner of Main St and University Blvd. will house The Collaborative Research Center. Designed to be LEED certified by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, the tower will contain 477,000 square feet for class/lab space for bioscience and biotech research. Rice will operate the center in conjunction with Baylor, MD Anderson, UT Health Science, Texas Children's and a host of other TMC institutions. The building will have 3 levels of underground parking and 10,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space that faces Main St. Plans call for the design to allow for the addition of another tower on top of this one and another on adjacent land...

Fine_Hub2_ed.jpg

Main_01_ed.jpg

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Another building turns its back to Main Street.

You know, I've been counting the number of non-residential projects under development in the TMC area, and with this one, it is now about enough to fill three of these:

houston-w_2.jpg

Most of the development is institutional, too, so it isn't likely to get cancelled as a result of market volatility.

Edited by TheNiche
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Neat stuff. More power to the Med Center.

On a related note, has there been any word on the Lyme property on Holcombe? That one is also supposed to be some sort of biomed building...

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Neat stuff. More power to the Med Center.

On a related note, has there been any word on the Lyme property on Holcombe? That one is also supposed to be some sort of biomed building...

I've been wondering that myself. I spoke with the Houston rep back in late 2004 after HBJ broke the story, and at that time, he was getting swamped with inquiries. He'd said something about trying to build a fitness center into the project...but it seems that Metrontario beat him to the punch on that, so...

I'd say that the odds are pretty slim that it'll get built. Medical office is a tough sell when there isn't a hospital affiliation...and even moreso when one building is already under construction and another offering the same product in the form of condominiums has a head start in presales.

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here is today's hbj article:

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...63&hbx=e_du

Approved unanimously by the Rice Board of Trustees Dec. 14, CRC plans call for eight floors of research laboratories in a tower atop a base platform that will include a vivarium, a 280-seat auditorium, a 100-seat seminar room, classrooms, 10,000 square feet of retail space for a restaurant and shops, and other common space, as well as three levels of underground parking.

The baseline plan also includes two stories of shell space to allow for expansion as the project grows, along with the potential to add a second research tower atop the base platform that could add up to another 150,000 gross square feet.

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  • 1 month later...

What happens to the doctor with the inflated ego who gets assigned to the office with the skinny window? We had a manager in our company who complained that the grass outside of his window was dead and brown while the office down the way had nice green grass. :mellow:

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What happens to the doctor with the inflated ego who gets assigned to the office with the skinny window? We had a manager in our company who complained that the grass outside of his window was dead and brown while the office down the way had nice green grass. :mellow:

I just noticed the skinny windows after you posted that. I hope it is just a flaw on the rendering, if not then... :huh: .

Edited by Talbot
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just hope they get the parking right. i saw they closed off southgate (into the neighborhood south of Rice). the residents have been complaining for yrs that the parking flowed into their neighborhood. i'm sure this new facility won't help the situation.

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That area is all out of whack now bordering the construction site. The street is the sidewalk now. You might catch me struggling to walk on the sidewalks in that area since I am always at my brother's place. As far as traffic, too many alternatives to get to this place. Hopefully that reflects with the construction and parking is not a HUGE priority. By the way topics can probably be merged with original.

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  • 3 months later...

Cool find.

This complex will have at least 2 levels of underground parking from what I remember seeing. Also, it is being built to easily facilitate expansion at a later date by adding a second tower. According to S.O.M.' website, it will be 10 floors above ground and rise to 202 feet tall. Those are HUGE floor plates!

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I just noticed the skinny windows after you posted that. I hope it is just a flaw on the rendering, if not then... :huh: .

In fact, it is not only not a flaw in the rendering, it is considered quite a dignified artistic choice for a modern architect to make. If a boring box has confusing windows, it is NOT to be confused with a shoebox. On one hand, shoebox towers are so discredited in the '00s that architects are falling all over themselves to be the authors of blobs and twisted prisms, yet when the building linked below opened in 2003 and was met with horror in citizen opinion, some architects went on to call the people conservative and phobic for disliking it:

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=79175784&size=o

Architecture is disciplinarily obsessed with forward progress. Perhaps this is the form that the urge to be a great author most readily takes when applied to built environments; maybe it is primarily the thing which they consider integrity, based on the idea that past solutions are not suited to our world today; or maybe playing with exciting new structural and technological possibilities is the most inexhaustible trick up architects' sleeve in a generation where architects are getting unprecedented public attention and acclaimed commissions which lend them freer rein or discretion than was common in the long years of post-Urban Renewal backlash, but don't actually have very much to offer up as a justification for why their particular ideas are helping the world in a compelling or conscientious way. Regarding the last, I have been expecting the discipline to seize on environmental 'sustainability' as that [enabling] rationale when technological glory whiz-bang gets unconvincing amid a rising tide of problems; regarding the first, there are always more than enough people lining up to be authors of objects, and what we need more of is people thinking regionally, and thoughtfully training and acting accordingly. The second, based on the premise that a heady but alienating new age needs an architecture that cannot draw very directly from the human thought-& life-style in past ages, is less immediately important than the other two.

(Yet only *immediately.*) It does bear some good discussion. The Renaissance was very much a child of Medieval work, and the Enlightenment likewise of the Renaissance. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a revaluation of rationality, and Romanticism, Realism et al. were in turn eschewed by Modernism's abstracted ordering. Modernism had some faith in Enlightenment ideals, and you can see, as you look at the detailed organizational strictures of Modernist structures, that the original postmodern text, "The Dialectic of Enlightenment", was right as it claimed, "enlightenment is totalitarian." It sought to impose its worldview on everything it could touch, right down to gridding inhabitants' worlds in machines for living. Deconstruction was to break down the hierarchy and pretense to authority that totalizing worldviews are built upon. It would reassert "the 'fragmentation' of narratives and the individual's ability to be 'the artist of his own life'", as an article last year on common strands linking postmodernism and modern commerce put it. The individual standing out against the grid. In the hands of Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, and the former Modernist Philip Johnson, among others, Postmodernism hit architecture with a wave of reference and diversity. Architects today largely distance themselves from these aesthetic solutions as being tacky and undignified. If they were considered self-indulgent, well, self-indulgence hasn't stopped. Another wave of Postmodernism had the likes of Peter Eisenman and Bernard Tschumi have taken architecture's role after modernism to be that of recognizing and portraying the disorientation of life with all of previous human existence's higher narratives undermined. The Wikipedia page on Tschumi says, "Responding to the absence of ethical structure and the disjunction between use, form, and social values by which he characterizes the postmodern condition, Tschumi's design research encourages a wide range of narratives and ambiences to emerge and to self organize. Although his conclusion is that no essentially meaningful relationship exists between a space and the events which occur within it, Tschumi nonetheless aligns his work with Foucault's notion that social structures should be evaluated not according to an apriori notion of good or evil but for their danger to each other." This disturbance and alienation of certitude and self is present in the Wexner Center at Ohio State - considered by its architect Eisenman to be a very didactic work, and you'll have to see for yourself what he means: http://www.desi.../eisenman/1.jpg

In this building at Rice, deliberately acknowledging but then thumbing its nose at a standard grid as it does... I think it's fair to suggest that, precisely along the lines of mls' comment regarding workplace window disputes, it may be that the staggering slots have been substituted for uninterestingly legible treatment of the facade as a way of asserting the individual against the modernist high-rise heritage of non-unique cubbyholes, within the ideological history described above. [Whatever is up in Spain,] SOM just doesn't succeed in making the inhabitants' cellular role less architecturally anonymous or any more meaningful by doing so here.

...In forward progress, I can't say this design has anything real to offer Houston. Not beyond an imitation of the newest status quo. As we look at those windows on the rendering, the final word on the off-balance attitude expressed in the design aesthetic and in Postmodernist theory (not just of the built environment) goes to Ravi Zacharias, a Christian speaker who, when walking around the Wexner Center, asked with a smile, "I wonder if they used the same techniques when they laid the foundation?"

Edited by strickn
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In fact, it is not only not a flaw in the rendering, it is considered quite a dignified artistic choice for a modern architect to make. If a boring box has confusing windows, it is NOT to be confused with a shoebox. On one hand, shoebox towers are so discredited in the '00s that architects are falling all over themselves to be the authors of blobs and twisted prisms, yet when the building linked below opened in 2003 and was met with horror in citizen opinion, some architects went on to call the people conservative and phobic for disliking it:

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=79175784&size=o

Architecture is disciplinarily obsessed with forward progress. Perhaps this is the form that the urge to be a great author most readily takes when applied to built environments; maybe it is primarily the thing which they consider integrity, based on the idea that past solutions are not suited to our world today; or maybe playing with exciting new structural and technological possibilities is the most inexhaustible trick up architects' sleeve in a generation where architects are getting unprecedented public attention and acclaimed commissions which lend them freer rein or discretion than was common in the long years of post-Urban Renewal backlash, but don't actually have very much to offer up as a justification for why their particular ideas are helping the world in a compelling or conscientious way. Regarding the last, I have been expecting the discipline to seize on environmental 'sustainability' as that [enabling] rationale when technological glory whiz-bang gets unconvincing amid a rising tide of problems; regarding the first, there are always more than enough people lining up to be authors of objects, and what we need more of is people thinking regionally, and thoughtfully training and acting accordingly. The second, based on the premise that a heady but alienating new age needs an architecture that cannot draw very directly from the human thought-& life-style in past ages, is less immediately important than the other two.

(Yet only *immediately.*) It does bear some good discussion. The Renaissance was very much a child of Medieval work, and the Enlightenment likewise of the Renaissance. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a revaluation of rationality, and Romanticism, Realism et al. were in turn eschewed by Modernism's abstracted ordering. Modernism had some faith in Enlightenment ideals, and you can see, as you look at the detailed organizational strictures of Modernist structures, that the original postmodern text, "The Dialectic of Enlightenment", was right as it claimed, "enlightenment is totalitarian." It sought to impose its worldview on everything it could touch, right down to gridding inhabitants' worlds in machines for living. Deconstruction was to break down the hierarchy and pretense to authority that totalizing worldviews are built upon. It would reassert "the 'fragmentation' of narratives and the individual's ability to be 'the artist of his own life'", as an article last year on common strands linking postmodernism and modern commerce put it. The individual standing out against the grid. In the hands of Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, and the former Modernist Philip Johnson, among others, Postmodernism hit architecture with a wave of reference and diversity. Architects today largely distance themselves from these aesthetic solutions as being tacky and undignified. If they were considered self-indulgent, well, self-indulgence hasn't stopped. Another wave of Postmodernism had the likes of Peter Eisenman and Bernard Tschumi have taken architecture's role after modernism to be that of recognizing and portraying the disorientation of life with all of previous human existence's higher narratives undermined. The Wikipedia page on Tschumi says, "Responding to the absence of ethical structure and the disjunction between use, form, and social values by which he characterizes the postmodern condition, Tschumi's design research encourages a wide range of narratives and ambiences to emerge and to self organize. Although his conclusion is that no essentially meaningful relationship exists between a space and the events which occur within it, Tschumi nonetheless aligns his work with Foucault's notion that social structures should be evaluated not according to an apriori notion of good or evil but for their danger to each other." This disturbance and alienation of certitude and self is present in the Wexner Center at Ohio State - considered by its architect Eisenman to be a very didactic work, and you'll have to see for yourself what he means: http://www.desi.../eisenman/1.jpg

In this building at Rice, deliberately acknowledging but then thumbing its nose at a standard grid as it does... I think it's fair to suggest that, precisely along the lines of mls' comment regarding workplace window disputes, it may be that the staggering slots have been substituted for uninterestingly legible treatment of the facade as a way of asserting the individual against the modernist high-rise heritage of non-unique cubbyholes, within the ideological history described above. [Whatever is up in Spain,] SOM just doesn't succeed in making the inhabitants' cellular role less architecturally anonymous or any more meaningful by doing so here.

...In forward progress, I can't say this design has anything real to offer Houston. Not beyond an imitation of the newest status quo. As we look at those windows on the rendering, the final word on the off-balance attitude expressed in the design aesthetic and in Postmodernist theory (not just of the built environment) goes to Ravi Zacharias, a Christian speaker who, when walking around the Wexner Center, asked with a smile, "I wonder if they used the same techniques when they laid the foundation?"

food for thought......perhaps overthought. i like you already, strickn. critique some other buildings for us.

k

Edited by bachanon
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I guess overthought is natural concerning a line of work where the budding practitioner is torn between

the monumental responsibility that they actually are determining, to a significant extent, the quality and naturalness of the possibilities in generations' day to day lives

and

the fact that they underbid each other to get work, and are utterly subject to the whims of the client and unpredictably prone to be hideously disempowered.

Edited by strickn
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  • 1 month later...

I just read the following about the CRC.

The building, opening early 2009, will include ground-level retail, dining, conference spaces and a landscaped public plaza. The second level will have classrooms, space with scientific equipment to be shared by the center
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As a Rice alumnus, I can safely say that I speak for a large number of us who think that this building looks like complete trash. Rice has a fairly uniform Mediterranean style about its buildings, and not only does this new building not match it, but it is painful to even look at. The building's only redeeming virtue is that it is not physically located in the main part of Rice's campus, but instead across University blvd and away from what is really considered to be "Rice".

I have emailed the project manager on this thing voicing my (and many others') displeasure about the look of this, and she didn't bother to reply.

This building is an example of architectural group-think at its finest. I'm really pissed about the whole thing.

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I do not have as strong feelings against the style of the building, but I agree that the design elements will only serve to detach themselves from the rest of campus..........right across the street. I hate to think of it is a Med Center vs. Rice issue (both are instrumental to the continued success of the city), but the Med Center design influences difinitley won out here. Future Rice undergrads/grad students will likely consider classes in this building as "going to the Med Center" rather than "on campus."

From the renderings, it looks like some green space may open up next to the track stadium. That would be a welcome change from the current chain fence on that corner.

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  • 1 month later...

I just noticed this article on the Collaborative Research Center in the Summer edition of the Sallyport (Rice Alumni magazine).

It has a much clearer rendering of the building (the print copy is even better than the online one). When I saw the first renderings posted above, I was completely unimpressed -- but this one actually makes me feel quite a bit better than the originals. Note the screen in front of the glass-walled side -- not being an architect, I have no idea what to call this, but I assume it has something to do with LEED certification. The screen is completely missing in the original renderings. Also, it's clear from this rendering that what appeared to be 2 more floors on top of the original building is actually just a facade of fake windows (I assume that's to dress up the air conditioners and/or other utilities on top?).

I still wish it would have been more in line with other architecture around Rice's campus, but I like it a little better than before.

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One thing I hope they do is build a better connection to campus. Maybe there will be a new path around the track stadium. As it is, you have to walk on Main to get there. While that isn't a big deal, it kind of makes it feel separated from campus. It would be really great if you could walk directly from campus to the new building.

Interesting that it's being designed so they can add floors later. That seems to be the trend in the medical center.

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One thing I hope they do is build a better connection to campus. Maybe there will be a new path around the track stadium. As it is, you have to walk on Main to get there. While that isn't a big deal, it kind of makes it feel separated from campus. It would be really great if you could walk directly from campus to the new building.Interesting that it's being designed so they can add floors later. That seems to be the trend in the medical center.

There is a new Rice Master-plan that is suppose to turn campus main axis to be more in-line with Main st. The track field will be gone, there would be an alley leading to that building etc. But that's probably ain't gonna happen for another few years.link

Architecturally-wise it is a compromise between Rice and TMC style, compromise between need of high-teck labs and the the consistent outside looks. Overall I feel it is not too bad.

The inside plans are very cool.I don't think there is any plans to add floors later but there is a plan to add another "rectangular tower" to the round hub. However, this is going to be a commercial development (they are looking for investors) which will then lease this space to biotech/med-tech companies

Edited by MovingSoon
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From the article posted above:

The baseline plan also includes two stories of shell space to allow easy and rapid expansion as the project grows, along with the potential to build a second research tower atop the base platform that could add up to another 150,000 gross square feet.
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In fact, it is not only not a flaw in the rendering, it is considered quite a dignified artistic choice for a modern architect to make. If a boring box has confusing windows, it is NOT to be confused with a shoebox. On one hand, shoebox towers are so discredited in the '00s that architects are falling all over themselves to be the authors of blobs and twisted prisms, yet when the building linked below opened in 2003 and was met with horror in citizen opinion, some architects went on to call the people conservative and phobic for disliking it:

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=79175784&size=o

Architecture is disciplinarily obsessed with forward progress. Perhaps this is the form that the urge to be a great author most readily takes when applied to built environments; maybe it is primarily the thing which they consider integrity, based on the idea that past solutions are not suited to our world today; or maybe playing with exciting new structural and technological possibilities is the most inexhaustible trick up architects' sleeve in a generation where architects are getting unprecedented public attention and acclaimed commissions which lend them freer rein or discretion than was common in the long years of post-Urban Renewal backlash, but don't actually have very much to offer up as a justification for why their particular ideas are helping the world in a compelling or conscientious way. Regarding the last, I have been expecting the discipline to seize on environmental 'sustainability' as that [enabling] rationale when technological glory whiz-bang gets unconvincing amid a rising tide of problems; regarding the first, there are always more than enough people lining up to be authors of objects, and what we need more of is people thinking regionally, and thoughtfully training and acting accordingly. The second, based on the premise that a heady but alienating new age needs an architecture that cannot draw very directly from the human thought-& life-style in past ages, is less immediately important than the other two.

(Yet only *immediately.*) It does bear some good discussion. The Renaissance was very much a child of Medieval work, and the Enlightenment likewise of the Renaissance. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a revaluation of rationality, and Romanticism, Realism et al. were in turn eschewed by Modernism's abstracted ordering. Modernism had some faith in Enlightenment ideals, and you can see, as you look at the detailed organizational strictures of Modernist structures, that the original postmodern text, "The Dialectic of Enlightenment", was right as it claimed, "enlightenment is totalitarian." It sought to impose its worldview on everything it could touch, right down to gridding inhabitants' worlds in machines for living. Deconstruction was to break down the hierarchy and pretense to authority that totalizing worldviews are built upon. It would reassert "the 'fragmentation' of narratives and the individual's ability to be 'the artist of his own life'", as an article last year on common strands linking postmodernism and modern commerce put it. The individual standing out against the grid. In the hands of Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, and the former Modernist Philip Johnson, among others, Postmodernism hit architecture with a wave of reference and diversity. Architects today largely distance themselves from these aesthetic solutions as being tacky and undignified. If they were considered self-indulgent, well, self-indulgence hasn't stopped. Another wave of Postmodernism had the likes of Peter Eisenman and Bernard Tschumi have taken architecture's role after modernism to be that of recognizing and portraying the disorientation of life with all of previous human existence's higher narratives undermined. The Wikipedia page on Tschumi says, "Responding to the absence of ethical structure and the disjunction between use, form, and social values by which he characterizes the postmodern condition, Tschumi's design research encourages a wide range of narratives and ambiences to emerge and to self organize. Although his conclusion is that no essentially meaningful relationship exists between a space and the events which occur within it, Tschumi nonetheless aligns his work with Foucault's notion that social structures should be evaluated not according to an apriori notion of good or evil but for their danger to each other." This disturbance and alienation of certitude and self is present in the Wexner Center at Ohio State - considered by its architect Eisenman to be a very didactic work, and you'll have to see for yourself what he means: http://www.desi.../eisenman/1.jpg

In this building at Rice, deliberately acknowledging but then thumbing its nose at a standard grid as it does... I think it's fair to suggest that, precisely along the lines of mls' comment regarding workplace window disputes, it may be that the staggering slots have been substituted for uninterestingly legible treatment of the facade as a way of asserting the individual against the modernist high-rise heritage of non-unique cubbyholes, within the ideological history described above. [Whatever is up in Spain,] SOM just doesn't succeed in making the inhabitants' cellular role less architecturally anonymous or any more meaningful by doing so here.

...In forward progress, I can't say this design has anything real to offer Houston. Not beyond an imitation of the newest status quo. As we look at those windows on the rendering, the final word on the off-balance attitude expressed in the design aesthetic and in Postmodernist theory (not just of the built environment) goes to Ravi Zacharias, a Christian speaker who, when walking around the Wexner Center, asked with a smile, "I wonder if they used the same techniques when they laid the foundation?"

511DHAYD3WL._AA240_.jpg

Gift for you.

Edited by H-Town Man
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  • 1 month later...

The CRC is finally rising above ground level! And I just found out that there's a good chance my lab will be moving there when it's complete! :) It will be nice being in the medical center, although a bit far from the rest of campus. I hope they open up an entrance to campus in that area some time soon, as in the "master plan".

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
In fact, it is not only not a flaw in the rendering, it is considered quite a dignified artistic choice for a modern architect to make. If a boring box has confusing windows, it is NOT to be confused with a shoebox. On one hand, shoebox towers are so discredited in the '00s that architects are falling all over themselves to be the authors of blobs and twisted prisms, yet when the building linked below opened in 2003 and was met with horror in citizen opinion, some architects went on to call the people conservative and phobic for disliking it:

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=79175784&size=o

Architecture is disciplinarily obsessed with forward progress. Perhaps this is the form that the urge to be a great author most readily takes when applied to built environments; maybe it is primarily the thing which they consider integrity, based on the idea that past solutions are not suited to our world today; or maybe playing with exciting new structural and technological possibilities is the most inexhaustible trick up architects' sleeve in a generation where architects are getting unprecedented public attention and acclaimed commissions which lend them freer rein or discretion than was common in the long years of post-Urban Renewal backlash, but don't actually have very much to offer up as a justification for why their particular ideas are helping the world in a compelling or conscientious way. Regarding the last, I have been expecting the discipline to seize on environmental 'sustainability' as that [enabling] rationale when technological glory whiz-bang gets unconvincing amid a rising tide of problems; regarding the first, there are always more than enough people lining up to be authors of objects, and what we need more of is people thinking regionally, and thoughtfully training and acting accordingly. The second, based on the premise that a heady but alienating new age needs an architecture that cannot draw very directly from the human thought-& life-style in past ages, is less immediately important than the other two.

(Yet only *immediately.*) It does bear some good discussion. The Renaissance was very much a child of Medieval work, and the Enlightenment likewise of the Renaissance. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a revaluation of rationality, and Romanticism, Realism et al. were in turn eschewed by Modernism's abstracted ordering. Modernism had some faith in Enlightenment ideals, and you can see, as you look at the detailed organizational strictures of Modernist structures, that the original postmodern text, "The Dialectic of Enlightenment", was right as it claimed, "enlightenment is totalitarian." It sought to impose its worldview on everything it could touch, right down to gridding inhabitants' worlds in machines for living. Deconstruction was to break down the hierarchy and pretense to authority that totalizing worldviews are built upon. It would reassert "the 'fragmentation' of narratives and the individual's ability to be 'the artist of his own life'", as an article last year on common strands linking postmodernism and modern commerce put it. The individual standing out against the grid. In the hands of Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, and the former Modernist Philip Johnson, among others, Postmodernism hit architecture with a wave of reference and diversity. Architects today largely distance themselves from these aesthetic solutions as being tacky and undignified. If they were considered self-indulgent, well, self-indulgence hasn't stopped. Another wave of Postmodernism had the likes of Peter Eisenman and Bernard Tschumi have taken architecture's role after modernism to be that of recognizing and portraying the disorientation of life with all of previous human existence's higher narratives undermined. The Wikipedia page on Tschumi says, "Responding to the absence of ethical structure and the disjunction between use, form, and social values by which he characterizes the postmodern condition, Tschumi's design research encourages a wide range of narratives and ambiences to emerge and to self organize. Although his conclusion is that no essentially meaningful relationship exists between a space and the events which occur within it, Tschumi nonetheless aligns his work with Foucault's notion that social structures should be evaluated not according to an apriori notion of good or evil but for their danger to each other." This disturbance and alienation of certitude and self is present in the Wexner Center at Ohio State - considered by its architect Eisenman to be a very didactic work, and you'll have to see for yourself what he means: http://www.desi.../eisenman/1.jpg

In this building at Rice, deliberately acknowledging but then thumbing its nose at a standard grid as it does... I think it's fair to suggest that, precisely along the lines of mls' comment regarding workplace window disputes, it may be that the staggering slots have been substituted for uninterestingly legible treatment of the facade as a way of asserting the individual against the modernist high-rise heritage of non-unique cubbyholes, within the ideological history described above. [Whatever is up in Spain,] SOM just doesn't succeed in making the inhabitants' cellular role less architecturally anonymous or any more meaningful by doing so here.

...In forward progress, I can't say this design has anything real to offer Houston. Not beyond an imitation of the newest status quo. As we look at those windows on the rendering, the final word on the off-balance attitude expressed in the design aesthetic and in Postmodernist theory (not just of the built environment) goes to Ravi Zacharias, a Christian speaker who, when walking around the Wexner Center, asked with a smile, "I wonder if they used the same techniques when they laid the foundation?"

This design a result of the new status quo? Acknowledged. But, for the most part (except for the western-facing curtain wall), I think the design works and offers the Med Center an exciting and much needed bit of design freshness.

These are pics of one particular bit of (amazing) Spanish architecture that I think SOM clearly references:

Moneo's Murcia Town Hall Extension

murciaextension.png

http://www.jaunted.com/files/admin/murciaextension.png

Murcia_CathedralSquare1.jpg

http://www.arikah.net/commons/en/b/bc/Murc...dralSquare1.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
Pillars of academia, research and health care gathered Friday among pillars of concrete at the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) to mark a milestone in the building's construction: The 10-story research facility at the corner of Main Street and University Boulevard has reached its maximum height.

Some 200 people attended the "topping out" ceremony, applauded as they watched a live oak tree -- rather than a cut tree typically used in this traditional ceremony in the field of construction -- was placed on the top story of the CRC. The oak, which will be replanted on the CRC grounds, represents 45 new trees that will also be planted toward the end of construction.

http://www.media.rice.edu/media/NewsBot.as...EW&ID=10796

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I'm over at Methodist now... it's kind of cool seeing the construction on the CRC and the new Methodist outpatient clinic from the 10th floor or so.

Jax... what is going on with all the other Rice construction, off Main and also at Sunset? I swim with the Rice Master's team, and evidently Rice will be building at 50 meter outdoor pool... where is that going?

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As a Rice alumnus, I can safely say that I speak for a large number of us who think that this building looks like complete trash. Rice has a fairly uniform Mediterranean style about its buildings, and not only does this new building not match it, but it is painful to even look at. The building's only redeeming virtue is that it is not physically located in the main part of Rice's campus, but instead across University blvd and away from what is really considered to be "Rice".

I have emailed the project manager on this thing voicing my (and many others') displeasure about the look of this, and she didn't bother to reply.

This building is an example of architectural group-think at its finest. I'm really pissed about the whole thing.

I'm a Rice alumnus, and I like it.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Rice BioScience Research Collaborative

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