Rice University Master Plan

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Houston, Texas, USA
300 acres / 121 hectares

The goal of the master plan for Rice University was to preserve and protect the assets that make the campus among the most beautiful in the country. These assets include carefully planned open spaces, a large group of distinctive buildings, and an extraordinary stock of mature trees. The Rice campus owes its coherence and beauty to the 1910 master plan by Cram Goodhue, and Ferguson, a document which served as a guide for two decades. Even after subsequent departures from the original plan, the essential form of the campus endures. Our goal in revising the plan for the first time in 50 years was to reaffirm its best ideas and to design an extended framework into which the University can grow while maintaining the unity and beauty of the original master plan. The plan’s goals are:

  1. To preserve and protect the axial organization and pattern of open spaces which give the campus its clarity and coherence.
  2. To find locations for new buildings that will enhance and extend this pattern.
  3. To protect and extend the landscape elements that makes the Rice campus unique and beautiful, particularly the oak trees.
  4. To develop a set of architectural forms consistent with the best Rice buildings, as well as with present-day construction techniques and costs, and to return to the tradition of top-quality architectural design for all new campus buildings.