Rice University selected international architecture firm Adjaye Associates, a winner of Britain's Royal Gold Medal, to lead the design of the Rice Memorial Center, its student union facility.

“We could not be more delighted than to have a design architect of the standing of Sir David Adjaye and Adjaye Associates for Rice’s new student center,” Rice President David Leebron said in a news release. “Building on the insights of Rice graduates at his firm, Sir David’s competition submission reflected a deep understanding of the needs of our student community, including the need to support diversity and inclusion through a vibrant and prominent Multicultural Center that is a central element of this project."

The university plans to begin the project in early 2022 with an anticipated completion in the fall of 2023. The project is funded with the help of a $15 million gift from the Brown Foundation.

The design, a three-story, 80,000-square-foot building, was selected from among three finalists by a committee of Rice officials and faculty, with input from its student associations. The competitive design process was a first for the university, according to the news release.

Adjaye Associates is known for its work on the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C.; the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway; and Ruby City, an art museum in San Antonio.