A Symbol of Revitalization For a Post-Industrial City

A new center on the campus of Syracuse University is meant to highlight the Rust Belt city's potential -- and to inspire its revitalization.
November 19, 2010, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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Metropolis takes a look at the new building, examining both its sustainable design and its suggested impact on this post-industrial city.

"From the highway, the CoE stands out as a visual landmark in a fairly blighted landscape. Syracuse suffers from the depopulation and deindustrialization that has been symptomatic of declining American cities since the 1970s, especially manufacturing centers in the Rust Belt. The project is part of a series of initiatives led by Syracuse University's architecture dean, Mark Robbins, to apply the best ideas currently available to spur revitalization.

From the street, the transparency of the building's facade uncannily bares the movements of the people inside, who appear like toy figures in a preschooler's parking-garage play set. Inside, the offices are at the same level as the freeway, giving workers a hypnotic view of the cars and trucks rattling by. 'They were very aware that this was a visible place in the city, and they wanted to make a place that the public would respond to and recognize,' says Mori's project architect, Josh Uhl. 'Like a new icon for renewal,' Mori adds, 'but it's symbolic that in Syracuse it's about energy and environment. It will be the future.'"

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Published on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in Metropolis
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