Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Watson’s Expanding Universe

To accommodate the expansion of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown is creating a 31,000-square-foot facility designed by architect Toshiko Mori, that comprises both new construction and renovated space. Located at 280 Brook Street, the facility will be called Stephen Robert '62 'P91 Hall and will officially open at the start of the Spring '19 semester.

The Institute currently occupies two structures — a modern, three-story building at 111 Thayer Street and a renovated 19th-century house at 59 Charlesfield Street. The intent of the project is to create more space for program growth, strengthen collaborative research activities, and further enhance the academic quad and shared public spaces. The project’s design will improve the streetscapes of Brook and Charlesfield streets and augment Starr Plaza's usability in its expanded role as a unifying element that engages all of the Institute’s buildings.

Ed Steinfeld, director of the Watson Institute, discusses the project: Conversation Starter: New Watson Quad is About Bringing People Together.

This project is designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Watson Expansion By the Numbers:

  • 31,000 square feet: 23,000 square feet in the new building + 8,000 square feet in the renovated space
  • 3,600 square feet of open meeting and study space
  • Classroom/event space for 150 
  • Conference room for 40
  • 10 study spaces for groups ranging from 4-10

Building Features:

  • An agora to be used as a central public gathering place
  • A glass bridge connecting the two new structures
  • Newly designed green space within the interior of the quad 
  • Grag & go café
  • Kitchenettes on each floor 
  • Waterfilling stations support Brown's Beyond the Bottle initiative
  • Charging stations on each floor
  • Master of Public Affairs conference room and study space

Beam Signing

Expansion Project Update

Watson Student Tour

Live Stream of Building Progress

For more renderings and updates visit Brown University's facilties page.

News from Brown: Brown celebrates launch of Watson Institute expansion