41 Cooper Square
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Facts about 41 Cooper Square
175,000 gross ft2
Job Captain/Project Designer:
Natalia Traverso Caruana
Gruzen Samton, LLP
F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc
Photographed by Iwan Baan
Last updated: December 14, 2012