Cornell University selected for High-Tech Campus in New York City
After a year-long competition between teams of schools vying to build a new science campus in New York, Cornell University has emerged the winner. The announcement, which came weeks earlier than expected, was made Monday, December 19th by Mayor Bloomberg. The competition, sponsored by the city to create jobs, provides the winner with free real estate to build a science campus somewhere in the city’s five boroughs and $100m in funding. Of the seven proposals received, Cornell may have edged out competitors thanks to $350m anonymous gift it received to build the project should it win the competition.
For its part, Cornell will partner with the Israel-based Technion Institute of Technology to build a $2m applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island, which, at full build out, will provide than more than 2 million sq ft of space serving nearly 2,000 graduate students and 250 faculty as well as visitors and corporate researchers.
The winning scheme was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill with James Corner Field Operations and is described in Cornell’s proposal as a ‘sustainable landmark for the country and the city’ that will feature the largest solar array in New York City, four acres of geothermal wells, and 500,000 sq ft of open green space dedicated to the public. If built today, the campus’s 150,000 sq ft main academic building would be the largest net-zero energy building in the eastern United States.
Update: After Cornell’s selection, rumours began circulating that the university may switch designers on the project, at the behest of the $350m donor, a Cornell alum, who would like to see a Cornell trained architect design the project. Neither Cornell nor SOM have confirmed or denied the rumor. At the same time, Cornell has made no commitment that it is moving forward with SOM.