New Tech Center Takes Shape in College Park

Brendan Iribe Center University Maryland computer science innovation

Illustration courtesy of the University of Maryland

The outlines of Route 1’s next big addition have become clear this week as construction continues at the entrance to the University of Maryland on Campus Drive.

Named for a co-founder of Oculus VR, the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation will be a striking counterpoint to the Hotel at the University of Maryland going up across Baltimore Avenue.

The six-story building will house student labs on robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence as well as makerspaces and open work areas. Each floor will also have a “reset room,” to offer opportunities for casual collaboration—especially appropriate since the founders of Oculus, who met while students at the University of Maryland, gave $38 million for the building’s construction.

The building’s architecture is a refreshing change from the usual brick-and-ivy look, with generous use of glass, a grassy terrace and a rooftop garden named for Oculus co-founder Andrew Reisse, an avid hiker who was tragically killed when he was struck by a car involved in a police chase in Los Angeles.

Overall, the project looks like it will integrate nicely with the trails leading to the Varsity student housing and shopping complex just north of it. Between the Iribe Center, the new hotel and all the student housing, the University of Maryland is doing a lot to change the look and feel of Route 1 in this section of College Park.

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