Princeton’s newest building by Los Angeles-based Frederick Fisher
Designed for the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE) of the School of Engineering and Applied Center at Princeton University, the new Sherrerd Hall is viewed by its architect Frederick Fisher as a “bridge between social sciences and engineering”.
Fischer’s vision for the 45,000 sq ft building evolved from the functionalist principal that a structure’s essential form derives from its intended purpose. The design forgoes traditional styles and grand artistic gestures in favour of simplicity, reflection and transparency.
Clad in fritted glass the building “has an ethereal quality that connects it to its environment”, said Fisher. “Glass reflects the environment and opens the building to the world. It connects what goes on inside the building to the campus and community outside.” The building, which has the first green roof on campus, stands at the edge of a quadrangle bordered by several other modernist buildings, including buildings by Hugh Stubbins and Pei Cobb Freed and Partners.
In contrast to the building’s cool exterior Fischer “domesticated” the interior with ample use of wood in the offices and classrooms. At entry, cherry panels cover the walls of the three-story atrium.