Can Designs Match Bold Ambitions for NYC's Tech Island?

The release of the sketchy first plans by designers SOM, Morphosis, and James Corner Field Operations for Cornell's new tech campus on New York's Roosevelt Island kick off the project's public review process.

October 15, 2012, 2:00 PM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Matt Chaban discusses how architects and planners are attempting to meet the challenge of designing facilities to house the rapidly changing needs of the world's leading technology innovators, who will be working, teaching, and learning at Cornell NYC Tech. Stated simply by Andrew Winters, director of capital projects and planning for Cornell NYC Tech, "how do you create a tech campus today that is still flexible enough to grow and evolve for the next 25 years?"

While much of the design must still be flushed out, the vision released today for the 12.5-acre project orients all buildings towards a central pathway, called the Tech Walk, and allows for views out to surrounding landmarks such as the U.N Building, the Empire State Building, the iconic Pepsi sign in Long Island City.

"If the entire design of the site is meant to emphasize the river and the
views beyond," says Chaban, "the challenge for the buildings themselves is to be
landmarks, as well, ones that create an unmistakeable presence for the
campus without interrupting or overtaking the island on which they will
rest."

 

Monday, October 15, 2012 in The New York Observer

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