Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Sid Richardson Residential College

The new Sid Richardson Residential College is an important building block for the rapidly growing campus at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a future center for diverse social and cultural coexistence. The ensemble of three buildings of different heights houses student apartments, learning and event rooms, leisure facilities and offices. Once completed, the building will provide an architectural framework for the various uses and interests of the increasingly diverse student body. 

The 12-story tower and its 5-story extension accommodate for residential use. They offer space for a total of 312 beds in 118 single apartments and 97 double rooms, three supervisor apartments as well as an apartment for a lecturer and a campus representative. The common areas are situated in the plinth area, which unites all three components on the ground and first floors. The heart of the building is the dining room, with 300 seats. To achieve a high degree of flexibility in the use of the space, the number of supports was reduced to a minimum during the design process. Large concrete beams, which run fan-like towards the few pillars, absorb the load of the skyscraper. The triangular ceiling panels between the beams are filled with wooden slats and create a dynamic grid.

The one-story flat-roofed building houses workshops and other event rooms. Acting as a publicly accessible threshold, a large roof terrace on the flat building runs between residential and communal areas. The idea of a "veranda", where regular events take place, was developed together with students and representatives of the university. The idea is to create a meeting place for residents and visitors and thus have an active center for everyday campus life. Corresponding to the dining hall, the area will be roofed by a construction of triangular lamellar fields embedded with photovoltaic modules. The elements specially developed for this design are part of a sustainable design concept, which aims to achieve a LEED Silver Rating. 

Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Martina Bauer (Associate, Project Architect), Emma Benintende, Jordan Berta, Deborah Chang, Evan Farley, Ian Miley 


student apartments, learning and event spaces, leisure facilities



Houston, USA 


148.000 sq f | 13.750 sq m


09/2019 - 11/2020




Rice University 


Architect of Record 

Kirksey Architecture, Houston  


Tendering/Construction Management

Construction Management: Anslow Bryant Construction LTD, Houston


Structural Engineering 

Knippers Helbig + Ensight Haynes Whaley


Climate/Energy Design 

LEED consultant: Kirksey Architecture, Houston



I.A. Naman + Associates, Houston


Electrical Engineering 

ELT/ IT/SEC/AV: 4b Technology Group, Houston


Building Physics 

Acoustical Engineer: Jaffe Holden, Houston


Landscape Architect 

OJB, Houston


Civil Engineering/Traffic Facilities 

Walter P. Moore, Houston