9.12.17 Cornell Tech’s mission of collaboration and innovation is reflected in the physical design of its New Roosevelt Island campus. A new type of urban campus that provides space to think, but is also integrated—in both mission and design—with the city.

The campus master plan was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and includes many innovative features and facilities across a river-to-river campus with expansive views, a series of green, public spaces and a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor areas. The campus has some of the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings in the world.

The first phase of the campus includes:

The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center is the first academic building on campus. Designed by Morphosis Architects under the direction of Pritzker-Prize winner Thom Mayne and Principal Ung-Joo Scott Lee, the building is a departure from traditional academic facilities with a variety of spaces designed to support different learning modes, including flexible spaces to encourage collaboration as well as private work spaces, adapting open plan offices from the tech world to the academic arena. The Bloomberg Center aspires to be among the largest net-zero energy buildings in the United States, with all its power generated on campus through a variety of site-specific strategies to reduce energy demand and use renewable energy.

The Bridge, designed by WEISS/MANFREDI and developed by Forest City New York, is a first-of-its-kind building where an extraordinary mix of cutting-edge companies from diverse industries will have the opportunity to work alongside groundbreaking Cornell academic teams. The building features gathering areas on each level, including a light-filled, multi-level Tech Gallery and a rooftop terrace sheltered by a solar trellis.

The House, designed by Handel Architects and developed by The Hudson Companies and Related Companies, is the tallest and largest residential Passive House high-rise in the world. Passive House is the strict international building standard that drastically reduces energy consumption while creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment for a fraction of residents’ usual energy costs. Cornell faculty, staff and students live at The House, giving the campus 24/7 activity.

The open space, designed by James Corner Field Operations, anchors the campus, fostering collaboration and innovation while simultaneously inviting the public into the campus. The campus is a river-to-river experience, engaging Roosevelt Island’s esplanade and extraordinary water frontage while maximizing views of Manhattan and Queens. The heart of Phase 1’s 3.5 acres of open space is the Campus Plaza, a multi-use central gathering space that can accommodate larger events.

Connected to the Plaza is the quarter-mile long Tech Walk, a central spine that features a series of active and social spaces that are linked by pedestrian pathways. Throughout the campus, outdoor and indoor spaces are synergistically connected to allow people to move easily and comfortably in and out during the day. The open space features comprehensive resilient design, including rain harvesting for irrigation, subterranean gravel trenches that hold and slow down storm water; a series of bio-filtration gardens that treat storm water runoff non-mechanically before it enters the river; and a geothermal field that provides energy to The Bloomberg Center.

Later this fall, Cornell Tech will begin construction on the Verizon Executive Education Center and Graduate Roosevelt Island Hotel, targeted for opening in 2019, providing a venue for academic conferences, executive programs and academic workshops.

When fully completed over the next few decades, the 12-acre campus will be home to more than 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff.  READ THE ENTIRE STORY  at Cornell Tech. 

Volume 26/Fall 2017 

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