Topping-Out Ceremony Puts MRB1 Closer to Completion (photo slideshow)

Construction of the five-level edifice is on schedule. Completion of the project is set for fall 2018

UC Riverside celebrated the “topping out” ceremony of MRB1 on October 13, 2017. CARRIE ROSEMA

A topping-out ceremony for UC Riverside’s five-story Multidisciplinary Research Building 1, known as MRB1, marked another milestone for the project.

During the Oct. 13 ceremony, campus leaders toured the building and experienced first-hand the magnitude of the 179,000-square foot project that will become a state-of-the-art research facility housing up to 56 researchers and their teams.

The main entrance will be off of Aberdeen Drive, through which visitors will walk into a grand atrium, illuminated by a huge skylight set on the fifth floor. Large windows all around the concrete and masonry building will allow additional natural light to fill the spaces.

The building will feature flexible working spaces and is designed to encourage cross-disciplinary research and cooperation, said Jacqueline Norman, campus architect. Los Angeles-based architectural firm SmithGroup JJR is leading the project, with general contracting work done by Hensel Phelps.

“The building looks great. Thanks to all the planners, architects, engineers, and builders for making it happen,” said Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, who toured the building with a team of campus leaders, including Christine Victorino, associate chancellor; and Cindy Larive provost and vice chancellor.

A celebratory lunch for all the building staff and construction workers followed the tour.

“Architecturally, MRB1 will be a distinctive contribution to the campus fabric, and the use of natural materials like brick, concrete, and terra cotta will be in keeping with the primary UCR palette,” Norman said. “With an abundance of natural daylight throughout, it will serve as a beautiful and inspiring backdrop for the researchers who work there.”

MRB1 facts and figures:

  • A covered walkway and a café will provide a great outdoor space to connect MRB1 to the Materials Science & Engineering building
  • MRB1 sits on 2.1 acres
  • MRB1 is 179,000 gross square feet
  • Total project cost: $150 million
  • The building can accommodate up to 56 researchers and their teams
  • Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2018
  • Bridging work group (the faculty committee) includes: Peter Atkinson; David Lo; Chandra Reynolds; Ravi Ravishankar; Ilhelm Messaoudi Powers (now at UC Irvine).

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