Creating connectivity

Wednesday 24 Feb 2010

Light, transparency and brand connect Stern students, faculty and New York City

With the Concourse Project, the New York University Stern School of Business aimed to renovate their undergraduate upper and lower concourse educational spaces, modernise the building lobbies, and create connections between the school’s graduate and undergraduate buildings.The resulting design emphasises connectedness, transparency, and light by reconfiguring the space and reclaiming unpleasant and underutilised (even unutilised) 1970's underground spaces through a combination of innovative design and careful engineering. It transforms the existing concourses into a state-of-the art educational center linked by light-filled corridors, and adds student lounges and gathering spaces to promote the interaction between students and faculty that make for a vibrant, active academic community.

The design solutions and features include a three-storey atrium and dramatic central glass stair brings light and energy into the below-ground concourses. Skylights cut into the grade-level plaza bring natural light deep into the spaces and ample use of fire-rated glass provides views into classrooms. Intricately intertwined building services were sorted out and re-routed to allow ceiling heights to be raised.

Interconnecting stairs between the floors foster a sense of connectivity, while reconfigurable classrooms allow for varied room setups based on curriculum changes. Finally, the energy of NYU Stern’s brand is integrated throughout the space with super graphics, banners, and elegant donor signage.

The result of the Concourse Project is the transformation of some of the least desirable spaces in the NYU inventory into some of the most exciting and memorable. The school has undergone a transition from a place that students simply enter for classes, to a destination; a place in which they want to meet, engage with one another and linger. The project has reinvented the physical image the school presents to the City and global business community. The project opened to students in September 2009, and is expected to earn a LEED-CI Silver rating.

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