The Rice University Wiess College comprises a variety of phases and program pieces. The scope of work began with a master plan phase for siting two colleges, a new access road and gateway, an individual masters house, a University-wide health clinic and the reconfiguration of the existing intramural fields.
The Wiess College project itself includes two dining halls, a servery, and a 228-bed dormitory surrounding a central public courtyard. The rooms are designed with primarily suite-type arrangements that are distinct between doubles for freshman and sophomores, and singles for juniors and seniors. The program also contains a variety of common spaces such as a library, computer rooms, seminar rooms, recreation rooms, etc.
The plan locates most of these common rooms near the dining and kitchen facilities, but also spreads some throughout the dormitory itself to encourage a mixing of students.
The building takes the form of a single-loaded corridor type, in which the suites are located on the peripheral edge of the building, accessible by means of open-air corridors shaded by ivy-covered metal screens along three courtyard walls. A new dining hall for Wiess College defines one edge of the courtyard. This hall is part of an integrated complex of new facilities that includes a second dining hall for the adjacent Hanszen College and a servery surmounted by a large public terrace overlooking the nearby playing fields. The building's architectural language is contemporary but developed from the historic character of the campus.