And a conceptual sketch...
Cooper Union site about the new building:
Grand staircase rising from the lobby
View south from Third Avenue
View east from Cooper Square and Seventh Street
View west from Sixth Street
Grand staircase rising from the lobby
View down the central atrium
Cooper Square's street diagram
THE COOPER UNION PRESENTS DESIGN OF NEW ACADEMIC BUILDING BY THE ACCLAIMED ARCHITECTURE FIRM MORPHOSIS
Building Is Linchpin of Ambitious Academic and Financial Plan at Cooper Union
NEW YORK—The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art today announced an exhibition and design preview of its new academic building – a building that will help to ensure Cooper Union’s educational and financial future and establish a new architectural landmark for New York City. The college chose Thom Mayne and the firm Morphosis after a rigorous selection process led by an Architect Selection Committee that screened 150 nominees.
To maintain The Cooper Union’s position as a top tier college, the new academic building will create an interdisciplinary learning environment for its students that will engender creativity. By adding pedagogical innovations and expanding the use of engineering technologies, the new facility will ensure both the college’s academic excellence and its historic contribution to the quality of life and urban infrastructure of New York.
Cooper Union president George Campbell Jr. said, “After the extensive search, we chose Thom Mayne of Morphosis to design our new academic building based on his architectural philosophy and ability to create reconfigurable and sustainable buildings that will evolve with both technology and pedagogy advancements. The pre-schematic presentation will confirm that Mayne’s unique architectural vision responds not only to The Cooper Union’s mission but to the fabric of the surrounding neighborhoods of the East Village.”
“Mayne’s design, conceived with the belief that space can inspire learning, embodies Cooper Union’s intention to create an academic building that will have the same impact that the Foundation Building had on higher education in 1859 and that our Chrysler Building had on New York architecture in the 1930s,” concluded Dr. Campbell.
Designed largely to house Cooper Union’s Albert Nerken School of Engineering—one of the top three specialized engineering schools in the nation— the building will also provide institutional space for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and the School of Art. The structure will function as both a space for study and a learning laboratory. To the extent practical, the mechanical, structural, telecommunications and environmental technologies will be accessible for study by students and faculty.
The pre-schematic design, created over a period of six months by the Los Angeles-based firm Morphosis in collaboration with New York architects Gruzen Samton will be on view at The Cooper Union’s Arthur A. Houghton Gallery, located in the college’s Foundation Building at Third Avenue and East 7th Street, beginning on Wednesday September 15, 2004. The exhibition will include a large-scale model of the building, architectural renderings, photographs and wall texts. The exhibition will remain open through October 23rd. Construction of the nine story full-block facility, located on the east side of Third Avenue, between 6th and 7th Street, is expected to begin in early 2006.
“Because teaching has become more interdisciplinary, and because new thinking and new discoveries are constantly reshaping our knowledge, it is crucial for The Cooper Union to have a flexible, open and interactive academic building,” states Thom Mayne, founder and principal of Morphosis. “We literally designed out from that core, always keeping in mind that a building for The Cooper Union should be as strong and innovative as the institution itself.”
Dr. Campbell noted that the new academic building is the linchpin of Cooper Union’s plan to secure the college’s academic leadership and it’s tradition of granting full-tuition scholarships to all undergraduate students. To secure both its long-term revenue streams for the college, Cooper Union also has leased an underdeveloped site at Astor Place between Lafayette Street and 4th Avenue to the Related Companies, which is building a residential structure designed by world-renowned architect Charles Gwathmey. Once the academic building is completed and occupied, the current engineering school building at 51 Astor Place will be razed and the property leased for development of a mixed-use commercial and academic structure. Key to the plan is a $250 million Capital Campaign, now in its nucleus phase, which will fund the new building in addition to supporting operations and expanding the endowment.
The Morphosis design conceives of the new facility as a “vertical campus,” organized around a central atrium that rises to the full height of the building. This open connective space, spanned at various levels by sky bridges, ensures interaction throughout the building while opening up view corridors across Third Avenue to the Foundation Building. The atrium also contributes to the building’s high degree of physical and visual permeability, which helps integrate it into the college’s neighborhood. At street level, the facade along Third Avenue features substantial glazing, allowing views into and out from the atrium. Many of the public functions (including retail space and a lobby exhibition gallery) are located at this level. A second gallery and a 200-seat auditorium are located at the base of the atrium, where they are visually and physically accessible from street level. While the building is designed to be open, porous and accessible, it will also be exemplary as sustainable, energy-efficient architecture, thanks in part to an innovative steel-and-glass building skin. A six-story-tall, slanted and folded screen of stainless steel spans the entire width of the building along Third Avenue.
Along Third Avenue, this semi-transparent screen of stainless steel spans the width of the building slanting and strategically breaking to allow views into and out from the building. This stainless steel skin reduces the influx of heat radiation during the summer and serves as a “coat” in cold weather. The juxtaposition of steel and glass in the building’s skin system also allows for heightened performance and dynamic composition on several levels: The steel screen fluctuates in its offset from the glass enclosure from one to eight feet providing a useful tool to vary the scale and texture of the facade relative to the site’s surroundings. This variance in offset also enables selective exposure of the building’s interior and expression of its tectonic character. This innovative building skin also improves the building’s performance through control of daylight, energy use, and selective natural ventilation. Other “green” features include energy-efficient, state-of-the-art mechanical systems and the incorporation of an on-site co-generation plant as an alternative energy source.
The Cooper Union’s project team for the new academic building, led by Morphosis includes Gruzen Samton LLP and contractor Sciame Construction. Coordination is being provided by Horne Rose, engaged by Cooper Union as its Owner’s Representative. Horne Rose is part of Jonathan Rose Companies, a New York based development and project management group.
For additional information, a web page detailing information about Cooper Union’s new academic building will launch on September 15, 2004 on the home page of its website, www.cooper.edu
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is one of the nation’s top ranked private colleges, offering degree programs in Art, Architecture, and Engineering. Founded by industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper, the College has provided a full-tuition scholarship, now valued at $27,000 per year, to every accepted student since 1859.
And a conceptual sketch...
This looks like a great replacement for an extremely ugly building.
There are some very sleek, modern buildings rising in the immediate vicinity of this one. A glass condo will rise right next to it, and the glass, curved Astor Place condo is around the corner. This area certainly has an interesting mix of old and new.
Totally cool news!!! This area is getting a good fresh air.
I went there the other day and was surprised to see so many new projects. Also, the Peter Hewitt building that's coming down is nothing special.
Cooper building meshes high tech with energy efficiency
By Lincoln Anderson
Cooper Union’s new academic building will be unlike anything New York City has seen before. Designed by Thom Mayne and the firm Morphosis, the nine-story building — on Third Ave. between Sixth and Seventh Sts. — will feature a “vertical campus” and be enclosed by a stainless-steel mesh that will help keep it cool in summer and retain heat in winter.
The vertical campus will be an area in the middle of the building that will be open and crisscrossed by stairways. Elevators will only stop on the fourth and seventh floors to encourage people to walk through the space, though there will be an elevator stopping on all floors for the disabled and for large artworks.
Describing the concept as a “vertical piazza,” while showing a scale model of the building last Friday, Ronni Denes, Cooper’s vice president for external affairs, said, “What a suburban campus might have horizontally, Mayne’s turned on its side.”
The building’s Seventh St. ground-floor side will have a glass-enclosed gallery, visible from the street and the building’s lobby; beneath it will be a 250-seat auditorium, which will allow for major events tied in with the gallery space.
The mesh enclosing the building will have sections that open, like horizontal window shutters. Looking out from inside, the mesh should not be too noticeable, according to Denes. Cooper Union plans it as a highly energy-efficient, “green” building, hopefully worthy of a silver LEEDS rating. The new building may have a cogeneration plant on site to produce its own steam.
Mayne designed the new, 1 million-sq.-ft. Cal Trans building in Los Angeles with a similar skin, though of a different material, due to the difference in climates.
Denes said the lighter look and feel of Mayne’s building was intended as a contrast to the heavy masonry and solidity of the school’s historic Foundation Building across Third Ave.
The new academic building, which will bring together all of Cooper’s academic programs under one roof, will include artists’ studios on the top floor, classes, labs, faculty offices and two student lounges on the middle floors and engineering labs — which have the heaviest equipment — on the bottom floors.
On the southern half of its ground floor, the building will feature up to 4,500 sq. ft. of retail space. According to Claire McCarthy, Cooper Union’s vice president for communications, when the plan came out of the city zoning process Cooper was allowed to have almost 10,000 sq. ft. of retail; in negotiations with the community, this was subsequently cut in half and restrictions were put on the type of retail. McCarthy said the retail stores will be “small, useful to students and the community — not big box.”
The new Cooper building will have setback terraces on the top floor on the Seventh St. and Taras Shevchenko Pl. sides, which Denes and McCarthy said will allow more light to get to St. George’s Ukrainian Church and School just to the east of the site. That the first two floors of the building will be enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass and open will also allow light to penetrate to the school and church, they said.
The two-story Hewitt Building, which currently occupies the full-square-block site, will be demolished for the project. Hewitt was originally planned as six stories, but the foundation was discovered to be inadequate to support additional weight.
A free tuition school, Cooper Union attracts some of the country’s top engineering students and its art program is the country’s most selective. The new academic building will be fitted with top computer and nano (extremely micro) technology and the computer labs will be built so as to be easily retrofitted to keep up with advancing technology.
“If you’re an architectural and engineering school, you have to do that,” said Denes.
When Cooper’s Foundation Building was constructed in 1858 it was the tallest building in New York City. Although elevators had not yet been invented, Peter Cooper predicted their arrival, and included round elevator shafts in the building.
A conceptual design for the new academic building was recently unveiled and a final design should be ready by December. Cooper Union hopes to break ground on the $120 million project in 2006. An exhibit of the building design is on view in the Foundation Building through November.
There's a sidewalk shed up on the row of buildings at the corner of East 5th & Cooper Square (3rd Ave/Bowery) - one block south of the site for the new Cooper Union building. An on-site rendering shows a 25-ish storey residential tower, clad in glass.
This little area is booming. From the first Avalon Chrystie building at Houston & Bowery (which is massive) to the new building going up at East 4th & Bowey, this is a rapidly changing landscape. It does show how an area and "community" like the East Village can disappear into the thrall of development.
On the other hand, it is all quite interesting in that the styles are very eclectic. A walk from Astor Place to the Manhattan Bridge on the Bowery reveals a great diversity of styles of architecture and design in the new buildings. In this respect, you can see what happens without a strong and persuasive community board.
A (new / revised?) rendering for the Cooper Union building from "the Architect's Newspaper" (with the previous rendering beneath):
Looking at this with fresh eyes, it seems those "students" are awfully brightly-dressed and perky for Cooper Union.
Still, and again, the design looks great.
I always find that the "people" that are included in renderings to be annoying. But I like to see who has been included (and who has been excluded).
A side track: A couple of years ago a huge billboard for the revival of the Broadway show "42nd St." went up on the SW corner of 42nd St. + 7th Avenue; the billboard was a line up of the faces of the chorus girls from the show. The original billboard included only the faces of caucasian chorus girls. Within a couple of weeks the billboard had been changed: the face of one of the black chorus girls appeared.
Here's the album cover showing the revised imagery (the billboard showed the faces in a line rather than stacked as in this photo):
Nowadays it seems that the marketing people have realized that renderings have to at least give the impression of making an attempt to reflect a world that doesn't consist of only white, middle-class people.
^ White, maybe; but can you tell anymore by looking what a person's class is?
^There are two identical black chorus girls in that poster.
A few of those girls have 2 pics on that poster, not just the black one.