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PRINCETON, NJ-Officials of Princeton University plan to construct two new academic buildings as part of an effort to create a natural sciences “neighborhood” along Ivy Lane and Washington Road here. The site of the proposed buildings is currently in use as a parking lot adjacent to the school’s Icahn Laboratory.

One of the two buildings, totaling approximately 200,000 sf, will house the university’s Department of Psychology, which will move over from its current location at Green Hall. The second building will house the neuroscience institute, a new department whose creation was announced in late 2005. Both will include a combination of classrooms, labs, offices and specialty spaces.

University officials have also announced that Jose Rafael Moneo Arquitecto, a Madrid-based firm, has been hired to design the multi-story buildings. The firm will collaborate with the New York-based Davis Brody Bond, a firm with extensive science experience.

“One of the challenges will be to design buildings for two academic units that want to maintain separate identities, yet foster cross-disciplinary work,” says Mark Burstein, the university’s EVP. “The two structures will be built on a site that borders a natural area. A sustainable design strategy will be key.”

The project is subject to approval by the regional planning board. And the construction schedule itself is subject to a fund-raising effort, according to Mark Wilson, program manager in the university’s Office of Design and Construction. The actual cost hasn’t been determined, pending architectural design.

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