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Architectural photographer Roland Halbe has sent us his photographs of the recently-completed academic building for The Cooper Union in New York, designed by Thom Mayne of American practice Morphosis.
Located at 41 Cooper Square, the building houses the college’s three schools teaching art, architecture and engineering.
The building is wrapped in a perforated stainless steel skin.
A six metre-wide staircase spirals around the central atrium,
intended to provide meeting places and encourage dialogue between
The main elevators stop only at the first, fifth and eighth floors to increase students’ physical activity.
Here’s some more information from the architects:
41 COOPER SQUARE
Thom Mayne of Morphosis
41 Cooper Square, the new academic building for The Cooper Union,
aspires to manifest the character, culture and vibrancy of both the 150
year-old institution and of the city in which it was founded. The
institution remains committed to Peter Cooper’s radically optimistic
intention to provide an education “as free as water and air” and has
subsequently grown to become a renowned intellectual and cultural
center for the City of New York. 41 Cooper Square aspires to reflect
the institution’s stated goal to create an iconic building – one that
reflects its values and aspirations as a center for advanced and
innovative education in Art, Architecture and Engineering.
Internally, the building is conceived as a vehicle to foster
collaboration and cross-disciplinary dialogue among the college’s three
schools, previously housed in separate buildings. A vertical piazza—the
central space for informal social, intellectual and creative
exchange—forms the heart of the new academic building. An undulating
lattice envelopes a 20-foot wide grand stair which ascends four stories
from the ground level through the sky-lit central atrium, which itself
reaches to the full height of the building. This vertical piazza is the
social heart of the building, providing a place for impromptu and
planned meetings, student gatherings, lectures, and for the
intellectual debate that defines the academic environment.
From the double-high entry lobby, the grand stair ascends four
stories to terminate in a glazed double-high student lounge overlooking
the city. On the fifth through ninth floors, sky lobbies and meeting
places—including a student lounge, seminar rooms, lockers, and seating
areas overlooking the cityscape—are organized around the central
atrium. Sky bridges span the atrium to create connections between these
informal spaces. Further reinforcement of the strategy to create a
vibrant intellectual space is provided by the “skip-stop” circulation
strategy which allows for both increased physical activity and for more
impromptu meeting opportunities. The primary skip-stop elevators, which
make stops at the first, fifth and eighth floors, encourage occupants
to use the grand stairs and sky bridges. Secondary elevators stop at
each floor, both for ADA compliance and for the practical tasks of
moving materials, artworks, and equipment.
In the spirit of the institution’s dedication to free, open and
accessible education, the building itself is symbolically open to the
city. Visual transparencies and accessible public spaces connect the
institution to the physical, social and cultural fabric of its urban
context. At street level, the transparent facade invites the
neighborhood to observe and to take part in the intensity of activity
contained within. Many of the public functions – an exhibition gallery,
board room and a two-hundred-seat auditorium – are easily accessible
one level below grade.
The building reverberates with light, shadow and transparency via a
high performance exterior double skin whose semi-transparent layer of
perforated stainless steel wraps the building’s glazed envelope to
provide critical interior environmental control, while also allowing
for transparencies to reveal the creative activity occurring within.
Responding to its urban context, the sculpted facade establishes a
distinctive identity for Cooper Square. The building’s corner entry
lifts up to draw people into the lobby in a deferential gesture towards
the institution’s historic Foundation Building. The façade registers
the iconic, curving profile of the central atrium as a glazed figure
that appears to be carved out of the Third Avenue façade, connecting
the creative and social heart of the building to the street.
Built to LEED Gold standards and likely to achieve a Platinum
rating, 41 Cooper Square will be the first LEED-certified academic
laboratory building in New York City. Advanced green building
An operable building skin made of perforated stainless steel panels
offset from a glass and aluminum window wall. The panels reduce the
impact of heat radiation during the summer and insulate interior spaces
during the winter.
Radiant heating and cooling ceiling panels introduce innovative HVAC
technology that will boost energy efficiency. This contributes to
making the new building 40 percent more energy efficient than a
standard building of its type.
A full-height atrium enables unique circulation for building
occupants, improves the flow of air and provides increased interior day
Seventy-five percent of the building’s regularly occupied spaces are lit by natural daylight.
A green roof insulates the building, reduces city “heat island”
effect, storm water runoff and pollutants; harvested water is reused.
A cogeneration plant provides additional power to the building, recovers waste heat and effectively cuts energy costs.
Flexible state-of-the-art laboratories, studios and classrooms are
specifically designed to accommodate pedagogical objectives, as well as
current and future research activities.
This aggregation of progressive green building initiatives combines
with the building’s social spaces and urban connectivity to support
Cooper Union in advancing its legacy of innovative ideas,
cross-disciplinary knowledge, and creative practices well into the
41 Cooper Square Fact Sheet
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
The Cooper Union’ s new building at 41 Cooper Square—a
technologically advanced academic facility—is located on the east side
of Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets. In September 2009, 41
Cooper Square will house the college’s Albert Nerken School of
Engineering and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences along with
additional facilities for the School of Art and the Irwin S. Chanin
School of Architecture. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Prize-winning
architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the nine-story, 175,000 square foot,
full-block building will replace more than 40 percent of the academic
space at the college with reconfigurable, state-of-the-art classrooms,
laboratories, studios and public spaces. Built with stringent
sustainability goals, it is likely to achieve LEED platinum. 41 Cooper
Square will be the first LEED certified academic laboratory building in
New York City.
Posted by Jasmin Gunkar from dezeen.com
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