KINGSTON, R.I. – September 4, 2012 –The University of Rhode Island celebrated the opening of its new $54 million building for the College of Pharmacy with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the completion of a center for pharmaceutical teaching and research.
The College of Pharmacy’s five-story, 147,774 square-foot building is the largest academic building on the Kingston campus, which includes teaching laboratories and classrooms, research laboratories, faculty and staff offices, administrative offices and outreach programs, and houses all of the associated pharmacy programs under one roof for the first time. Divided into two disciplines, biomedical pharmaceutical sciences (BPS) and pharmacy practice (PHP), the building integrates these two disciplines for teaching pharmacy.
A sunny, environmentally friendly building constructed in the Kingston campus' new North District, the Pharmacy Building features bright, open classrooms and laboratories, healthy indoor work spaces, energy-efficient lighting systems, high-technology mechanical systems, and a site footprint with a minimal impact on the natural environment. The building is expected to earn a "Gold" rating in the U.S Green Building Council's LEED® rating system. Through its technology and design, the building will use about 20 percent less energy than a traditional building of this size, with an expected savings of nearly $160,000 a year in utility costs.
The siting of the new College of Pharmacy building, in concert with the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (also designed by Payette) and the Coastal Institute, brings definition to the most significant new quadrangle on their campus since the inception of the main quadrangle of the original campus. With the addition of the Pharmacy Building’s mass and configuration, the resultant new campus quadrangle brings with it a significant amenity to the URI campus and a clear identity to the new science district and its associated buildings.
The building design is organized with the most high-tech research laboratories on the upper floors and teaching labs and classroom spaces on the lower levels. Designing a pharmacy building that supports and sustains a culture of interaction and collaboration is fundamental to the success of this building type. The spirit of the building encourages informal meetings of faculty and students to create learning opportunities outside the boundaries of traditional teaching labs. Here, the varied departments of the program are vertically interconnected through the stepped, two-story living room spaces, each with interactive displays, traditional display cases to accommodate a wide array of objects of a pharmaceutical nature, and a living green wall connecting the interior space to the exterior balcony space beyond.
With the stepped series of lounge spaces comes the opportunity for interaction where meaningful dialogue across departments can occur. The balconies, with a southern exposure, can be contemplative locations overlooking the medicinal garden, which embodies the symbolism of the origin of pharmaceutical science. These living room spaces at the geographical center of each floor plan constitute the figurative “heart” spaces of the building through which the faculty and students circulate.
The completion of this building defines the new North District Quadrangle as a significant campus space and new center for the sciences on URI’s Campus. Furthermore, by completing the vision for the science precinct on the northern edge of URI’s campus, the building becomes the realization of a dream that supports the practice and pedagogy taught within for future generations.
In addition to Payette, the project team consists of LLB Architects, the associate architect; Odeh Engineers, structural engineering; Pare Corporation, civil engineering; CRJA IBI Group, landscape; Vanderweil Engineers, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, tel data, security; and Acentech, audiovisual consultant.
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University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony