41 Cooper Square

October 12, 2009 /

New York, NY, USA

cooper_union_1.jpgPhoto © Iwan Baan

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.

A building that reflects its values and aspirations as a center for advanced and innovative education in Art, Architecture and Engineering.

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.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

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 facade registers the iconic, curving profile of the central atrium as a glazed figure that appears to be carved out of the Third Avenue facade, connecting the creative and social heart of the building to the street.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

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.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

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.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

Photo © Iwan Baan

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.

Read more about Cooper Union in earlier arcspace feature.

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Axonometric Site Plan

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Plan Basement One Level

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Plan Level One

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Plan Level Two

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Plan Level Four

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Plan Level Nine

Drawing courtesy Morphosis

Drawing courtesy Morphosis

Drawing courtesy Morphosis
Atrium rotated views

Facts about 41 Cooper Square

Total area:

175,000 gross ft2

Design Director:

Thom Mayne

Project Manager:

Silvia Kuhle

Project Architect:

Pavel Getov

Job Captain/Project Designer:

Jean Oei

Project Designers:

Chandler Ahrens
Natalia Traverso Caruana
Go-Woon Seo

Associate Architect:
Gruzen Samton, LLP


Peter Samton

Project Manager:

Susan Drew

Project Manager:

Robert Stack

Construction Management:
F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc


Frank Sciame

Project Executive:

Steve Colletta

Project Manager:

Robert DaRos


Jonathan Rose

Project Manager:

Sanjeevanee Vidwans

Photographed by Iwan Baan

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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