Institute for Advanced Study, Rubenstein Commons, Princeton, N.J.
Courtesy Steven Holl Architects Institute for Advanced Study, Rubenstein Commons, Princeton, N.J.

Steven Holl Architects announced today that the firm has won an invited competition to design the Rubenstein Commons at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J. Located at the center of the IAS campus—at which Albert Einstein taught from 1933 until his death in 1955—Rubenstein Commons will provide 20,000 square feet of communal gathering space with displays that acknowledge the IAS's history. Other invited entrants in the competition included MOS Architects, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

“We are incredibly pleased to be working with Steven Holl Architects on this exciting project,” Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Leon Levy Professor, said in a release. “The Rubenstein Commons will provide a greatly needed space for enhanced social engagement and academic collaboration, and Steven and his team will bring a rich and varied level of experience to help us achieve these goals.”

Aerial view of site for Institute for Advanced Study, Rubenstein Commons, Princeton, N.J.
Courtesy Steven Holl Architects Aerial view of site for Institute for Advanced Study, Rubenstein Commons, Princeton, N.J.

"It is an honor to work on this inspiring campus and within the Institute’s rich academic history," Steven Holl, FAIA, said in the release. "We hope the new generation of scholars will enjoy the Rubenstein Commons as it brings the community together with inviting spaces. We look forward to the collaboration and realization of this important piece of architecture."

Institute for Advanced Study, Rubenstein Commons, Princeton, N.J.
Courtesy Steven Holl Architects Institute for Advanced Study, Rubenstein Commons, Princeton, N.J.

Preliminary watercolors of the winning proposal show quiet pockets for intimate conversations alongside more open areas beside water features, all beneath curving roof planes. This project is Steven Holl Architects' second in Princeton; the first, the Lewis Center for the Performing Arts at Princeton University, is set to open in 2017.