Branded Welcome Center Introduces Prospective Students to Campus

Summit, NJ (June 1, 2010) – The award-winning New Jersey-based architectural firm, The Biber Partnership, completed the Rutgers University Visitor Center, the first design-build project for the University. Located high atop Sutphen Road, on the Busch Campus in Piscataway, NJ, the 12,512 sq. ft. facility serves as the starting point for tours of the New Brunswick Campus, houses interactive multi-media exhibits that illustrate the universitys history as well as banquet and meeting spaces.

The Visitor Center is an important component of the Rutgers brand as it serves as the gateway to the university for visitors and prospective students. The Biber Partnership designed a custom perforated stainless steel screen as well as a striking red wall made from composite metal panels, perpendicular to the entrance and emblazoned with a 6-ft. high white R which serves as a beacon to visitors. A soaring 26-ft. tall stonewall forms the backdrop for the building entry and continues through the interior of the space. The wall is made from calcium silicate panels, formed with a custom color reminiscent of the red shale that is ubiquitous in the area.

The sun-drenched lobby features two-story-high windows and the glow-in-the-night scarlet wall, multimedia exhibit offering an interactive tour of the universitys three main campuses. Meeting spaces on the first floor include a great room that can accommodate 380 for meetings or 250 for banquets. For increased flexibility, the space can be divided into separate rooms for smaller events. To reinforce the Rutgers brand, custom Rutgers University carpet was designed for the meeting spaces.

The Rutgers Visitor Center incorporates all that our firm does best including delivering great design within a fast-tracked schedule and working in collaboration with our client and design-build partners, explains Derrick Overbay, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate, The Biber Partnership. As the introduction to Rutgers University, we understood the need to incorporate branding through interior design and architecture. The Visitor Center needed to make a statement to guests and prospective students and it says Wow.

The Biber Partnership also incorporated several sustainable design features into the Visitor Center including the custom exterior stainless steel sunscreen, which also serves as an architectural element, low water use plumbing, low VOC materials, recycled-content products as well as increased energy efficiency. The building was designed to meet LEED silver standards.

As the first design-build project for Rutgers University, the team consisted of The Biber Partnership and Michael Riesz & Co. The team was chosen largely in part due to their forty-plus years of collaboration among team members along with a history of innovative design and fast-track delivery.

About The Biber Partnership
The Biber Partnership is an award-winning Summit, New Jersey-based architecture and design firm with a focus on higher education, corporate interiors, recreational institutions and banking institutions. Founded by Peter Biber, the firm is dedicated to design through communication, excellence in design and process, effective management, and pragmatic solutions. Projects include, but are not limited to multiple projects for Rutgers, The State University; Ethicon, a Division of Johnson and Johnson; YMCA and JCC recreation projects in New Jersey and New York; 6 million square feet of bank operation centers; NY Life Investment Management Center in Parsippany, NJ; and multiple institutional and corporate facilities throughout the region.

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