In January Rice opens Brockman Hall for Physics, funded with a gift from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust and an $11.1 million federal stimulus grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With 110,000 square feet of program space and state of the art labs for molecular, atomic and optical physics research and for biophysics, nanoengineering, photonics and condensed matter physics, Rice can bring together experimental, theoretical and applied physicists formerly scattered across campus in 5 buildings. Brockman Hall completes Rice's Science Quad. The structure features a concrete basement floor 4 times thicker than normal, so scientists can conduct experiments at all times of day without interference from traffic vibration or doors being opened and closed.
Kieran Timberlake designs and builds Brockman Hall in 33 months, a compressed schedule almost unheard of for so complex a project. Brockman Hall wins awards from the Texas Society of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for design excellence. The Office of James Burnett is the landscape architect for the project.