College Park’s aspirations for a slice of “Silicon Valley” on the Route 1 corridor took a big step forward with the official opening this week of a $152 million computer science and engineering building.
With a sleek glass exterior and curvy design, the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, which was kickstarted by a $31 million donation from the co-founder of Oculus VR Brendan Iribe, has raised the bar for the area’s architecture. But it’s what’s inside that matters even more.
Located on the corner of Campus Drive and Baltimore Avenue, the six-story building, which had an official ribbon-cutting this week after three years of construction, will host students and professors working on cybersecurity, quantum computing, data science, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
The building also has a makerspace, cafe, a 300-seat auditorium and a rooftop garden. One room is even named for the Brin family: emeritus math professor Michael and Goddard Space Flight Center Eugenia and their sons, University of Maryland graduates Samuel and Sergey, the co-founder of Google.
Across the street are the Hotel at the University of Maryland, a new WeWork location, a tech incubator and a future Purple Line stop. A little farther down the road is the university’s burgeoning Discovery District, which is already home to several big government labs and science-based tenants.
And the nearby area is already changing, with new restaurants, student housing and apartments aimed at post-college living.