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2018 MCHAP

Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building & Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University

KPMB Architects

Princeton, NJ, USA

April 2017


KPMB Architects


Thornton Tomasetti (structural, building envelope) Barr & Barr (construction manager) Altieri Sebor Wieber (engineering (mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression)) Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (landscape architect) Van Note Harvey and Judith Nitsch Associates (civil engineering) Cerami (acoustical and audio-visual systems) Tillotson Design Assoc. (lighting design) Isometric Studio (environmental graphics)


Lorine Murray-Mechini, Senior Project Manager, Princeton University


Adrien Williams


The re-purposing of the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building & Louis A. Simpson International Building from its former use as the Frick Chemistry building (1929) participates in Princeton University’s master plan vision to build academic neighbourhoods that have strong scholarly connections and provide much-needed space for expanded opportunities for teaching and research. The renovated building is at the centre of the social sciences and humanities departments in the William Street neighbourhood and provides a new home for the economics department, several international offices and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).


Situated on the seam where the historic west campus meets the contemporary east campus, the plan pays special attention to the placement of entrances and circulation systems to create flows between people and services, architecture and landscape, and past and present to shape an interdisciplinary future. Economics fronts onto Washington Road, balancing faithful restoration and contemporary interventions in the form of three glazed rooftop pavilions. A new stone/glass entrance/atrium for International Initiatives opens onto Scudder Square, setting the building in conversation with the Freedom Fountain and the Woodrow Wilson School, and completing one of Princeton’s iconic outdoor spaces of engagement.


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