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Cornell Unveils Design Details for Roosevelt Island Campus

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[Renderings by Kilograph]

And so it begins. To kick off the seven-month public review process of Cornell Tech NYC, Cornell University released new renderings and design details for the 2.1 million square foot tech campus that will transform Roosevelt Island from a sleepy residential neighborhood to an ecotastic high-tech hub. The campus "won't look like any other university campus that exists today," says Cornell's Dean. It will be built in two phases, with the first phase breaking ground in 2014 for a 2017 completion. Phase one will have large open public areas to blend outside and indoor space, a "pedestrian spine" linking to Four Freedoms Park, a student residence, and a net-zero academic building designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects.

The second phase will include several more buildings along the campus's central pedestrian walkway, and it won't be completely built-out until 2037. The first phase will accomodate 1,400 people, while the whole campus will be able to handle 5,000. Work will begin by moving patients from the southern complex of the Coler-Goldwater hospital and then demolishing those buildings.

To achieve net-zero energy, the five-story Morphosis building will be capped by an undulating solar canopy, and it may tap into geothermal wells or use the tidal turbines currently being installed in the East River. It will have only six classrooms, and will be filled instead with "huddle rooms" and open spaces. Phase one will also see the construction of a corporate co-location building where students could work alongside tech companies like Google and Facebook. Additionally, there will be a student residence, an executive education center, a privately operated hotel, and 125,000-square-feet of outdoor public space.

Cornell presents the plans to the City Planning Commission today, and the chairman of the planning committee of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association foresees the biggest public complaint being Cornell's plans to deliver construction materials by truck. Considering the location, it seems that barge delivery would make the most sense, but Cornell says this is more expensive.
· Cornell Tech NYC [official]
· Cornell Tech coverage [Curbed]
· In Bedroom Community, Birth of a Tech Center [NYT]