The New School opened its new University Center at 65 Fifth Avenue on Monday. The campus hub with living, academic and performance space is the school’s largest building project to date, adding 375,000 s/f of space to its West Village campus.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Roger Duffy, the University Center is a space for active collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. Its centerpiece, visible from the outside, are grand “communicating stairs,” connecting all academic levels and forming landing points throughout the building to promote interaction, communication and collaboration.
“We designed a vertical campus for The New School, effectively accommodating the needs of an entire university within a single building,” explained Roger Duffy, FAIA, design partner at SOM.
“Living and learning spaces are linked together with horizontal, vertical and diagonal campus pathways, providing students with more opportunities for the types of interactions and chance encounters that are vital to discussion and debate.”
The University Center is one of New York City’s greenest buildings, with a LEED Gold rating and industry-leading solutions to curbing energy use. Using state-of-the-art lighting and window placement, sustainably sourced materials, and a rain-catching green roof (funded in part by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection), the building simultaneously advances urban conservation while acting as teaching tool for the next generation of sustainability leaders.