Sarofim Hall



Sarofim Hall will be a new hub for cross-disciplinary practice and a home for visual arts students at Rice University. It reinterprets the ubiquitous “Butler” Building, recalling the much-loved but obsolete Art Barn and Media Center. By freeing the steel frame from its skin, the design turns the hermetic Butler Building into an extroverted mini-campus, welcoming students, faculty and the general public into its protected exterior spaces to engage with the arts. Sarofim Hall capitalizes on the economical properties of the Butler Building, which have historically made these loft-like, industrial spaces conducive to art production, education and presentation. A diagonal cleave through the site defines the ArtStreet, a central artery that pulls students, faculty and passers-by into the heart of the building. The building contains the Film, Media, Photography, Print-making, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Performance departments. Part living room and part work yard, the ArtStreet reveals the inner workings of Sarofim Hall’s program. Glazed facades along the street let light, air and views deep into the flexible floor plates. Oversized industrial doors invite the ground floor workshops, and studios to spill into the ArtStreet throughout the seasons.

Project information
ClientRice UniversityLocationRice University, Houston, United States
PartnersCharles Renfro,Elizabeth Diller,Ricardo Scofidio,and Benjamin Gilmartin
TeamAndrea Schelly,Chris Andreacola,Dino Kiratzidis,Diego Soto Madrinan,Xueyuan Wang,and Sean Gallagher
Competition TeamKevin Rice,Charles Curran,Dino Kiratzidis,Milos Mladenovic,Shiwoo Yu,and Jonathon Cielo
External credits
Jackson & RyanExecutive Architect
OJBLandscape Designer
Fisher Dachs AssociatesTheater Consultant
ThresholdAcoustics & A/V
Martinez MooreStructural Engineer (HUB)
Walter P. MooreCivil Engineer
Wylie AssociatesMEP Engineer