Rice Confirms Redirect Toward Classically-Skinned Opera House


Proposed Opera House, Rice University, Houston, 77005Rice University announced this week that the opera house it plans to build in the parking lot next to the Shepherd School of Music will, in fact, be designed by the classic-leaning architecture firm of Allan Greenberg — and formally released what appear to be a couple of the same renderings that Swamplot posted back in June, after a reader’s encounter with the above presentation materials on campus. Like the Baker Institute, the design looks to be covered over in classic-ish details more or less reminiscent of Rice’s older buildings; the towers on the south side of the opera house also roughly match the one on the Humanities building, which Greenberg also designed.


Back in early 2014, Rice announced that the new facility would be designed by Rice alum and associated professor Charles Renfro of MacArthur Foundation-lauded firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, known for work like its redo of Lincoln Center, as well as for more exotic designs like that building wrapped in a shroud of perpetual fog.  No details as to what happened to that previous arrangement have been released by Rice or either firm, though Greenberg publically acknowledged the project as early as December of last year. It was announced at the end of August, however, that alum and associate Rice professor Charles Renfro was designing a bench for the Architecture school.

Images: Swamplot inbox

West Lot U-Turn

5 Comment

  • Opera house next to the football stadium again? I thought they gave up on that! Are they *trying* to bankrupt themselves?

  • I’m not sure even “trying” could get them there. With a $5.5B endowment and a long list of wealthy suckers on tap they can certainly build with no abandon and now is a far better time than it’s been in the past.
    Always glad to see these type of colleges investing and expanding on existing land rather than just focusing on purchasing more property to sit on for later use.

  • This building looks like an undercooked pastiche of RU kit of parts thrown against a wall. Put it back in the pot.

  • This looks . . . like a bathtub.

    Mr. Greenberg,
    please start again. You are capable of so much more.

  • Paging marmer…