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Morphosis Goes First on Roosevelt Island Tech Campus

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From the six final candidates, Cornell chose Morphosis Architects to design the first building on its Roosevelt Island applied sciences campus. University officials made the announcement last night at a Manhattan Community Board 8 meeting on Roosevelt Island to discuss a master plan for the campus. It's a safe bet that Morphosis will not choose to create a carbon copy of the Cooper Union building pictured above in the SOM flyover rendering, but it is an example of the firm's work on an academic building and architect Thom Mayne's other structures that veil glass buildings behind perforated metal. The Morphosis building will be the first of three academic buildings located on the campus, which will be aligned on a north-south axis, with the first being closest to the 59th Street Bridge. The plan calls for the structure to be 150,000 square feet and, probably no more than eight stories; "Academics don't like to work in high-rises," explained Kathy Dove, VP of CornellNYC Tech. First drafts of Mayne's plans for the building are expected by November 2012, with a schematic design in March 2013.

SOM's conceptual models and flyovers were helpful in winning Cornell the selection process to be chosen to develop Roosevelt Island, but the school is now putting together a more practical and flexible master plan that will cover the construction period from 2012 to 2037, when the campus is expected to be completed. At present, that plan calls for three main academic buildings that will be paired with three partner co-location buildings—places where private companies and student mentors will have space to be integrated into the academic curriculum. This pair of buildings will be joined by campus housing (no dorms; apartments for grad students and faculty) and a conference center/hotel building. That cluster plan will repeat itself two more times moving south down the campus axis, (except for the conference center-hotel probably).

On a more immediate note—CornellNYC is not waiting for its first Morphosis-designed academic building to be completed before opening the proverbial schoolhouse doors in New York. In two weeks, the school will announce the now-top secret location in Manhattan where its temporary campus will be placed within an existing building. If you know where it that is and would like to share it with us and Curbed readers, hit us up at Curbed Tips.
· Thom Mayne of Morphosis Is Chosen for CornellNYC [NYT]
· Cornell Has Six Architect Finalists for Roosevelt Island Campus [Curbed]
· Big Red Apple [Curbed]