Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Hardwarepba S.p.A
PanelsAcgi
ManufacturersBASWA acoustic AG
LightingBrandston Partnership Inc.
LEED ConsultantBuroHappold Engineering
AcousticCerami and Associates

Product Spec Sheet
Hardware
Panels
by Acgi
Manufacturers
LEED Consultant
Acoustic

The New School University Center

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as Architects

For nearly a century, The New School has been at the forefront of progressive education, with design and social research driving approaches to studying the issues of our time, from democracy and urbanization, to technology, sustainability, and globalization. Over the past 15 years, The New School has built on this legacy to grow into a major degree-granting university, with nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. But, in recent years, as the school outgrew its longtime home in New York’s Greenwich Village and found its real estate holdings spread across the city, from the Financial District to the Upper West Side, this pedagogical model proved challenging to maintain without the physical plant to support it. The University Center both supports and furthers this model through its innovative design and responds to the school’s increasing demand for state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary spaces.


The University Center adds 375,000 square feet of academic and student space to The New School’s Greenwich Village campus. The 16-story center houses design studios, laboratories, interdisciplinary classrooms, the main university library, a nine-floor student residence, an 800-seat auditorium, a café, and flexible academic and social spaces for student activity.


Conceived as a campus within a building, the University Center transforms the traditional university environment. Rather than compartmentalize learning, living, dining, and socializing spaces, these functions are situated in a vertical configuration, creating strategic adjacencies and heightening the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning. Connections between classrooms, studios, library, cafés, auditorium, and student residences take the form of stacked staircases and “sky quads” that facilitate the chance encounters vital to the cultivation of discussion and debate at The New School.


This innovative interior organization is expressed in the exterior of the building. Tightly woven, purpose-built spaces clad in handfinished brass shingles contrast with the open connective tissue of the stairs and quads visible through a glazed skin. The exterior mediates between the cast-iron facades of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District to the north and the brownstones of the Greenwich Village Historic District to the south and west. Located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street, the University Center broadcasts the experimental nature of the school’s new home, creating a dialogue between the campus community, the local neighborhood, and the city.


A New Kind of Urban Campus


With its 230,000-square-foot, seven-story campus center (located in the building’s base) and 130,000-square-foot residential tower, the University Center reimagines the organizing elements of a traditional campus, from quads to classrooms and living quarters. Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal campus pathways work together to facilitate movement through the building, while increasing opportunities for interaction among students and faculty from across the university. Academic spaces are flexible and easily adaptable, and can be renovated or reconfigured with minimal impact on power, data, or lighting to meet changing needs. Raw finishes and an exposed mechanical system further ensure flexibility in the academic spaces. To bring light into the 30,000-squarefoot academic floor plates, clerestory windows line both walls of the main corridor. Horizontal windows and light shelves naturally illuminate classroom ceilings, reducing lighting loads.


Pathways to Discussion and Debate


The University Center’s system of double stairways plays a critical role in the life of the building; it works in conjunction with skip-stop elevators to move large numbers of students vertically through the building. Stacked one above the other, the fire stair is designed for quick circulation, while the broader, open “communicating stair” allows for travel between floors at a more leisurely pace. With faceted walls clad in glass-fiber-reinforced concrete panels, the high-use stairways are a place for chance meetings between students and faculty, and encourage social interaction and interdisciplinary exchange.


Circulation paths that weave vertically, horizontally and diagonally through the building lead into and activate sky quads—interactive spaces that also orient users due to their adjacency to stairways and corridors. Like the “local” and “express” stairs that link them, the sky quads are intended to perform as social spaces, promoting formal and informal encounters between students and faculty, as well as supporting academic and leisure activities. These interactive spaces include student lounge areas, student resource centers with adjacent meeting rooms, study areas, cafés, and pin up spaces for design studios.


To avoid crowded conditions and delays during class-change times in this vertical campus, peak elevator demand is mitigated through the combination of the intuitive system of stairways and a skip-stop elevator system. During peak times, the elevators stop at floors one, four, and six, and stairs are utilized to access the intermediate floors, while at off-peak times, the elevators stop at all floors.


A Commitment to Sustainability and Energy Efficiency


Designed to meet LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council, the University Center sets the New York City standard for green technology and building practices with super-efficient LED lights, occupancy sensors, a 265-kilowatt cogeneration plant, and sustainably sourced materials. Envisioned as a model of energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and sustainability, the building anticipates 31 percent energy savings over a code-compliant school. Both passive and high-tech solutions increase energy efficiency. The envelope of the building is limited to 35 percent glass, which decreases solar heat gain while optimizing interior daylighting. The shingled cladding shades the windows up to 20 percent during daylight hours. An ice-storage system, located in the second basement, uses electricity from the power grid during off-peak times to freeze water in a series of chambers; the ice melts during the day, reducing consumption during peak times. Heat recovery wheels recover heat from exhaust air and help heat supply air, saving energy. A green roof, funded in part by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, mitigates the heat-island effect, as well as storm-water runoff, capturing water for both grayand black-water treatment facilities in the building. Waterless urinals contribute to potable-water conservation. Composting is employed with an in-vessel composter in the cafeteria.


The building serves as a living element of the curriculum, providing on-site training to the next generation of green leaders to students in environmental studies, sustainability management, and urban design. Design elements that demonstrate architectural, structural, mechanical and green building strategies are visible through signage and working exhibits. Back-of-the-house systems have been transformed into instructional spaces for New School students and facilities staff, as well as for professional organizations and unions, who are expected to use the building for hands-on training.


Active Design Features


A series of perimeter stairs is one of the primary design features in the University Center—a focal point both inside and outside the building. These stairs are intended to work in conjunction with the skip-stop elevator system as the principal means of circulation through the building for the physically able. Through the use of clerestory windows in hallways and on the façade, the University Center provides for daylighting along paths of travel, and the design is organized to encourage walking between destinations, as well as spaces for social interaction. The building provides bike storage rooms and showers to encourage cycling, walking, and running between home and school. The building was recognized by Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a model of the successful implementation of the “active design” strategies that are part of New York City’s anti-obesity and health initiatives.


Student Resources


A co-ed residential tower for more than 600 students occupies floors 8-16 of the University Center. An amenity space on the lower level is accessible only by residents and consists of a large common room, art studios, an exercise facility with gym equipment, soundproof music practice rooms, a study hall, bicycle storage area, mailroom, and laundry room. The University Center has three dining areas: a 280-seat cafeteria on the second floor, an 80-seat library café on the seventh floor, and a 60-seat event café on the lower level off the entrance lobby and auditorium.

Ruedi Baur and the Intégral Paris team designed the signage system for the New School in New York

Integral Ruedi Baur Paris as Signage Designers

“Writing in Space”


This project is the conception of a 3D sign system for a new University Center at The New School in New York. The New School campus comprises several buildings at the crosssection of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street, and includes a number of schools, including Parsons The New School for Design. The University Center was designed by Roger Duffy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and will open in January 2014. The 16-story building includes seven floors of academic space with a nine-story dormitory on the upper levels. As way-finding on the academic levels is concentrated around a central set of stairwells, our signage system is specifically designed for use in this vertical space.


A three dimensional typeface was designed to work in superposition in the stairwells, playing on perspective to indicate a direction or floor level within the building. A personalized typeface was created to meet the two dimensional and three dimensional symbolic and functional requirements equally. The design is inspired by the architecture of the façade of this new New York landmark. The typeface’s perspective evolves with the stories, its effect intensifying as it moves from the ground floor to the 17th floor. 3D typography is not a novelty. It predates Gutenberg to ancient civilizations that engraved lettering onto blocks of stone. Our design is a contemporary approach to this Greek tradition. The typeface was loosely based on Gotham, then integrated Peter Bilak’s Irma font, superposing Irma Light on Irma Black to create the contoured overlap that produces the three dimensional perspective effect. The perspective effect changes according to the viewer’s standpoint in the building. It also accentuates the impression of height. The higher the viewer ascends in the building, the more emphatic and intense the type’s perspective effect becomes.


The skeleton structure lends itself to many variations of type weights and colors, with a constantly evolving graphic effect. As all the schools of the University come together in this building, the signage is adapted to evolve into a wide variety of colors and type weights in reference to The New School’s wide variety of interdisciplinary study. The signage system is designed to be visible from the street, making a vertical typographical installation which will be extended up seven stories. The design concept was also adapted for the university’s newly established Parsons Paris at 45 rue Saint-Roch. As this building is in a much more classic, Haussmann style, the typeface has been adapted to this context, even using gold on the sign’s lettering. “The New School” sign in the University Center in New YOrk is provisionally printed on a black metal base (in single color) over the entrance. A 3D sign with the letterforms in metalwork is currently being developed to play further on spatial perspective. Playing with perspective, this will become truly three-dimensional.


Art Direction: Ruedi Baur Creative team: David Thoumazeau, Alexandra Bauch, Lisa Kitschenberg, Stéphanie Brabant

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