Specifier · Save time: Make one inquiry to multiple manufacturers.
Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building / Louis A. Simpson

Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building / Louis A. Simpson

KPMB Architects
20 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ, USA | View Map
Project Year
Stories By
KPMB Architects

Adrien Williams
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Reception furniturearflex
Drinking FountainsFiltrine
Reception furnitureZeitraum GmbH
Floor and wall tileMosa
Office furniture, ChairsTeknion

Product Spec Sheet
Reception furniture
Reception furniture
Floor and wall tile
by Mosa
Office furniture, Chairs
by Teknion

Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building & Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University

KPMB Architects as Architects

Connecting Campus, River and City

The former Frick Chemistry Laboratories at 20 Washington Road has been fully renovated and with strategic new additions is the new home for key academic and administrative units at Princeton University. The Julis Romo Rabinowitz (JRR) Building houses Princeton’s Economics department and related research centers, and the University’s international initiatives are newly sited in the Louis A. Simpson International Building. This project realizes the University’s Master Plan vision to create a hub for social sciences, and transform the large, monolithic building into a porous, transparent and welcoming learning and research environment. 


The building is located in the north-east precinct of the campus and occupies a prominent position east of Washington Road on Scudder Plaza – on the seam where the historic west campus meets the more contemporary east campus. The campus pedestrian pathway system was extended into this precinct as part of the landscape design, and a new south atrium and bridge entrance to the Simpson Building directly connects to Scudder Plaza. On Washington Road, the Beatrix Farrand landscape has been restored and forms the entrance court to the JRR Building. New glazed rooftop pavilions complement the heritage façade, and deliver flexible meeting and seminar rooms with remarkable views to the historic campus to the west.


Material Used :

Exterior Cladding
1. Masonry: Argillite Stone, Indiana Limestone
2. Metal/glass curtain wall: National Glass & Metal Company, Inc.
3. Moisture barrier: Sarnafil
4. Metal panel: Kingspan, Alucobond


1. Built-up roofing: Tremco Incorporated
2. Thermoplastic Waterproofing: Sika Sarnafil


1. Metal frame: Hope’s Windows, Inc.


1. Glass: Viracon, Fry Reglet, Herculite, SaftiFirstSuperLite, Starphire, Noise-Lock
2. Skylights: National Glass & Metal Company, Inc.


1. Entrances: Hope’s Windows, Inc.
2. Metal doors: Hope’s Windows, Inc.
3. Wood doors: Graham / Patella Woodworking
4. Sliding doors: Faram Holding and Furniture Inc.
5. Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cookson Rolling Grilles
6. Special doors: Modernfold Styles, Inc.


1. Locksets: Best
2. Closers: LCN/Dorma
3. Exit devices: Von Duprin
4. Pulls: Rockwood
5. Security devices: CACS


Interior Finishes
1. Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong / AWI
2. Suspension grid: Armstrong
3. Demountable partitions: Faram Holding and Furniture Inc.
4. Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Patella Woodworking
5. Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore
6. Paneling: RPG Diffuser System, Inc. / Patella Woodworking
7. Plastic laminate: Formica
8. Solid surfacing: Cambria / Avonite / Corian
9. Special surfacing: Lightblocks
10. Floor and wall tile: Mosa / Stonetile
11. Resilient flooring: Nora
12. Carpet: Interface / Tai Ping
13. Raised flooring: Tate
14. Stone Flooring: Bluestone -Endless Mountain
15. Glass Floor: Greenlite Glass Systems


1. Office furniture: Gunlocke / Teknion
2. Reception furniture: Walter Knoll, Zeitraum, Arflex, Carl Hansen
3. Chairs: Herman Miller, Andreu World, Geiger, Teknion Studio
4. Tables: Davis, Randers, De La Espada, Tacchini, Studiolise


1. Interior ambient lighting: Selux
2. Downlights: USA Illumination / Edison Price
3. Tasklighting: Lim / Artemide
4. Exterior: Penn Globe Lighting / Lucifer / BK Lighting
5. Dimming system or other lighting controls: Lutron / Graphic Eye Ecosystem


1. Elevators: GAL 


1. Waterclosets: Sloan
2. Lavatory: Custom Corian
3. Faucet: Toto
4. Drinking Fountains: Filtrine
5. Water Dispenser: Quench


1. Energy management or building automation system: Siemens Building Technologies

Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building & Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University

Entro as Consultants

The social sciences program at Princeton University aims to advance our understanding of human society while speaking to some of the 21st century’s largest societal issues. As part of the Master Plan to develop a social sciences hub, the university commissioned the renovation and expansion of their existing 1929 gothic-style heritage building with the intent to maintain the historical significance of the envelope, while reorganizing and modernizing the interior layout. Entro worked closely with architect KPMB to detail the exterior and interior needs for identification, orientation and donor recognition that tie into a campus-wide directional sign system.


The building’s address at 20 Washington Road belongs to the first group of historic buildings located at the campus centre. The architectural solution honours the original building while introducing a transparent and open environment for students. We wanted to echo this balance with a wayfinding and donor recognition program that could work with both the gothic style architecture and the architects’ modern addition.


The interior signage is designed with glass-like panels and stainless steel details. Signs are trimmed with brushed stainless steel and cut out numerals that indicate the building level. We specifically chose these materials to maintain a minimalist look that would work with both the existing gothic architecture and the new, modern addition. 

With departments being far away from one another and spread out over multiple levels, one of our challenges was to ensure directories offer comprehensive information to guide students accordingly yet maintain a simplistic informational system so as to manage visual clutter. The signage was governed by ADA and NJUCC guidelines, and care was taken to work with a code consultant to ensure the strict requirements were met.


For the interior donor recognition program, we inspired ourselves by the design from other campus buildings, readapting the concepts to fit into the new standard of layout and text information. We established a hierarchy of sign layouts and text scales for different donor values and differentiate the donor signage from the wayfinding program with bronze finishes. Extensive mockups and testing ensured the right balance throughout the donor wall and named spaces.


The exterior donor recognition is integrated into the architectural elements of the building — recessed letters on a stone bench and stainless steel letters mounted directly onto glass beside the entrance. The aim was to have simplicity and preserve clear views, without any heavy sign boxes or panels.


Overall, the now 197,500-square-foot building boasts a strong wayfinding and donor recognition program that helps students find their way and educates them on the generosity of donors that made this building and other university programming possible.

Project Credits
Mechanical, Electrical, Fire Protection
Construction manager, General contractor
Boston Dynamics Headquarters + Test Lab Facilities
next project

Boston Dynamics Headquarters + Test Lab Facilities

Waltham, MA, USA - Build completed in 2021
View Project