Princeton University held a press preview last week for the new two-building complex designed by Jose Rafael Moneo that will house the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) and the Peretsman-Scully Hall, the new home of university's psychology department. The complex, which opens in January, completes the natural sciences neighborhood on Princeton’s campus, putting into close proximity the departments of psychology, neuroscience, astrophysical sciences, chemistry ecology and evolutionary biology, geosciences, mathematics, molecular biology and physics.
The new building is located south of the Icahn building (Rafael Vinoly) and on the west side of Washington Road across from the Frick Chemistry Laboratory (Hopkins Architects) to which it is linked by an elevated pedestrian bridge (Christian Menn). At 248,000 sq ft the building houses laboratories, offices and conference space for the Department of Psychology in one wing and the same spaces in the other wing. The two departments are connected internally and share a study area, auditorium, teaching classrooms, and other amenities.
The building façades feature panels of serrated, artisanal cast glass from Spain, as well as high-performance glazed and clear glass in an aluminum framed curtain wall. PNI has two stories above ground and two below, while Peretsman-Scully Hall has five levels above ground and two below. Landscape design was provided by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
Describing the building at the press conference, Moneo, who skyped in from his studio in Madrid, said: "On the one hand, it's belonging to campus, and yet it's very much like a private house for researchers and students." The goals, he said, were based on 'giving the campus continuity but trying to provide the right atmosphere for working in such an exciting subject'.