San Juan, Puerto Rico

Client: University of Puerto Rico

Completion date: August 2009

Program: A four-story, 55,000-square-foot addition to the university's Rio Piedras campus, housing undergraduate classrooms as well as faculty and administrative offices. The new structure complements a 1960s-era academic building across the quad.

Solution: The architects sought to turn the addition, set at a widely used back entrance to the university, into a new face for eastern edge of campus. They wanted the new building to be distinctive yet still feel connected with the original. Cast in reinforced concrete, the structure mimics the modular, rectangular shape of its predecessor, so that together the two suggest puzzle pieces separated by the quad. To enliven the streetward facade, the Toro Ferrer team commissioned a Puerto Rican artist to create a sculpture in colored perforated aluminum, which doubles as a sunshade. Inside, they organized the classrooms and offices around an open-air gallery, which they topped with a skylight fitted with louvers to allow warm air to escape. Like a central patio, the ground floor can be entered from all sides, making it a natural meeting spot. Bright, lozenge-like concrete benches add color to the otherwise neutral concrete palette.

Total construction cost: $13 million

Toro Ferrer Arquitectos
2004 McLeary Avenue
San Juan PR 00911
T: 787-727-7700
F: 787-727-8094


University of Puerto Rico

Toro Ferrer Arquitectos
2004 McLeary Avenue
San Juan PR 00911
T: 787-727-7700
F: 787-727-8094

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
José Javier Toro, AIA.  Partner in Charge
Fernando De Jesús López, Senior Project Architect
Luis Rodríguez, Chief CAD Technician
Josué Carrión, CAD Technician
Frank Bonilla, CAD Technician 
Julián Manríquez, Architect
Annabelle Hernández, Architect

Civil Engineering: EBP Design Group

Structural Engineer: Miguel Zapata

Electrical Engineer: Juan Requena & Asoc.,

Lighting Design: ISP Design

Telecommunications: Telec Engineers

Geotechnical Engineer: Geocim

Lighting: ISP Design

Audiovisual & Acoustical: Acentech Inc

“Onda” Mural Artist: Nayda Collazo-Llorens

“Pebbles” Benches Designer: Maruja Fuentes

General contractor:
RBC Construction

Raquel Pérez Puig

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Auto Cad



Built-up roofing: Danosa

Aluminum: Valcor Samcor

Skylights: Valcor Samcor

Aluminum & Glass Storefront: Valcor Samcor

Glass Doors: Valcor Samcor

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: USG (at Faculty Offices), TECTUM (at Classrooms)

Demountable partitions: Steelcase (at Faculty Offices)

Special surfacing: Dupont Corian countertop with integrated lavatories (restrooms)

Floor and wall tile: Daltile (at classroom entrance walls, snackbar walls) Agrob Buchtal (at restrooms)

Terrazzo tile flooring & pre-cast terrazzo treads: Baldosas de Granito

Interior ambient lighting: Cooper

Downlights: Cooper

Exterior: Elliptipar & ERCO

Mural Lighting: Alkco/Hoffmeister

Steplights: FC Lighting

Elevators/Escalators: Kone

Drinking water fountains: Elkay

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Perforated Aluminum Mural Artwork: Valcor Samcor

Glass Reinforced Concrete Benches: Innovative Building Systems