Princeton University

Princeton Weekly Bulletin   September 10, 2006, Vol. 96, No. 1   prev   next   current

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  • Editor: Ruth Stevens
    Calendar editor: Carolyn Geller
    Staff writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Eric Quiñones
    Contributing writer: Cass Cliatt
    Photographers: Denise Applewhite, John Jameson
    Design: Maggie Westergaard
    Web edition: Mahlon Lovett
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Chemistry building, pedestrian bridge on the horizon

Princeton NJ — As announced this summer, plans are progressing on schedule to transform the part of Princeton’s campus that straddles Washington Road south of Ivy Lane into a natural sciences neighborhood, highlighted by a new chemistry building and a pedestrian bridge over Washington Road.

The projects have been presented to University trustees and submitted to the regional planning board, and will proceed into the next phase of design development after site plan approval.

chemistry building rendering

Architects rendering of the new chemistry building (drawing courtesy of Hopkins Architects)

The chemistry building (shown from the northwest) is being designed by Hopkins Architects of London in collaboration with Payette Associates of Boston. The pedestrian bridge is being designed by noted Swiss engineer Christian Menn in collaboration with HNTB, a New York-based architectural firm.

The four-story chemistry building will encompass between 240,000 and 250,000 gross square feet and will be located on the site of the Armory south of Jadwin Hall. Current designs call for laboratory and teaching spaces on the east side of the building and offices on the west side of the building facing Washington Road. The two sides will be joined by a skylit atrium that will feature pedestrian connectors at three levels and public meeting spaces. The building will be clad primarily in glass and stone panels set in a structural framework.

Access points to the pedestrian bridge on the west side of Washington Road will begin at the Icahn Lab and on the path from parking lot 20. Access points on the east will be at Jadwin Hall and the chemistry building. The design for the landing area on the east has evolved since the initial concept to incorporate gradually sloped paths leading to the new plaza. The 300-foot span will rise 20 feet above Washington Road at its highest point. The walkways are expected to be at least 10 feet wide and will have stainless steel mesh railings.

Demolition of the Armory is slated to begin in late 2006 or early 2007, and construction of the chemistry building is expected to start in fall 2007. The building is scheduled to be occupied in fall 2010. Work on the bridge could begin as early as fall 2008, with completion planned to coincide with the opening of the chemistry building.

For more details, drawings and a video clip that simulates crossing the pedestrian bridge, visit



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