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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Architects Chosen to Design New Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Building

February 23, 2001

Architects Chosen to Design New Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Building

Troy, N.Y. — The contract to design the Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Building at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been awarded to a joint venture of two architectural firms with experience in biotechnology design — Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann of Butler, Pa., and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Pittsburgh.

“Our selection of such premiere architectural firms with their distinctive success in the design of research facilities is indicative of our commitment to the best in academic research and to the beauty of our campus and our community,” said Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer.

The facility of roughly 200,000 square feet will be constructed on 15th Street, adjacent to the George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation, and north of Academy Hall, the former School 14. It will be comparable in size to the George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation and the J. Eric Jonsson Engineering Center.

The cost of the building is expected to total between $60 million and $70 million. Its design and construction will be enabled, in part, by the anonymous gift of $130 million recently made to Rensselaer. Groundbreaking is expected early in 2002.

The architectural firms have previously collaborated on such projects as the $21.9 million Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann designed the $88 million Biomedical Science Tower in Pittsburgh, and the $34.6 million Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology at the University of Maryland.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed the $49 million Natural Sciences Laboratory Building at the University of California.

“This is a wonderful combination: Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann — one of the nation’s leading research practices, not only for their work in building advanced labs but in being part of the fundamental research that is changing lab practice — and the exceptionally gifted practice of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, with whom they have worked over many years. This team will not only produce a work of science but a work of art,” said Alan Balfour, dean of the Rensselaer School of Architecture.

Several of the architects on the joint venture are Rensselaer alumni: Dick Rittelmann ’60, principal-in-charge; Peter Bohlin ’58, design architect; and Jon Jackson ’73, lead architect. Harry Gordon ’73 and Michael Maiese ’90 are also on the team.

Contact: Patrick Kurp
Phone: (518) 276-6531
E-mail: N/A


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.