Milstein Hall is the first new building in over 100 years for the renowned College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) at Cornell University.
The new building is situated between Cornell's historic Arts
Quad and the natural Falls Creek Gorge redefining the entry for the
northern end of the campus.
Formally the AAP was housed in four separate buildings, distinct in architectural style and programmatic use but similar in typology. Rather than creating a new free-standing building Milstein Hall is an addition to the AAP buildings creating a unified complex with continuous levels of indoor and outdoor interconnected spaces.
We wanted to provide something currently absent from the college, a space with the scale to facilitate collaboration. We also saw an opportunity to reconnect the gorge to the north side of the Arts Quad,
A large horizontal plate is lifted off the (ground) and
connected to the second levels of the AAP's Sibley Hall and Rand
Hall to provide 25,000 square feet of studio space with panoramic
views of the surrounding environment.
Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass and a green roof with 41
skylights, this "upper plate" cantilevers almost 50 feet over
University Avenue to establish a relationship with the Foundry, a
third existing AAP facility. The wide-open expanse of the plate,
structurally supported by a hybrid truss system, stimulates
interaction and allows flexible use over time.
From the main entry, a concrete bridge spanning 70 feet across
the dome space draws people into the auditorium or brings them down
the sculptural stairs to the lower level of Milstein Hall. The
bridge's structural concrete truss railing and stair allow the
bridge to span across the dome column free.
The materiality of the lower level, constructed of exposed
cast-in-place concrete, adds a contrast to the upper plate's glass
and steel character. However both spaces create frameworks of raw
spaces to serve as a pedagogical platform for the AAP to generate
new interaction driven by the students' and faculty's ambitions and
Milstein Hall provides the AAP its first auditorium and large scale lecture hall within its own facilities. The auditorium was designed to provide maximum flexibility to allow a multiplicity of programs and functions to occur. The auditorium is divided into two halves of fixed seats on the raked section of the dome and loose seats on the level section. When the auditorium is not used at its full capacity of 300 people, the lower level can be used for studio critiques and smaller meetings.
The glass-enclosed auditorium provides a permeable boundary
between academic space and the public. When privacy or blackout is
required, a custom designed curtain unfurls from the auditorium
balcony in one continuous form.
The additional space provided by Milstein Hall enabled a new master plan of the College's facilities creating extraordinary new spatial relationships between internal programmatic elements.
The building is expected to receive a Silver LEED certification with the possibility of achieving Gold.
Facts about Milstein Hall
47,000 square feet
Architect of Record:
KHA Architects, LLC
Robert Silman Associates, P.C.
Plus Group Consulting Engineers PLLC
Civil Engineer - Site Utilities:
GIE Niagara Engineering Inc. P.C.
Civil Engineer - Site and Grading:
T.G. Miller P.C.
Facade Design and Engineering Consultant:
Tillotson Design Associates, Inc.
Scape Landscape Architecture PLLC
Inside Outside, Petra Blaisse
BPD Roof Consulting, Inc.
Persohn/Hahn Associates, Inc.
College of Architecture
Art and Planning (AAP)
Last updated: December 19, 2013
New York, New York, USA
New York, New York, USA