School of Professional Studies, New York University

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New York, New York
125,000 SF
2015 SARA National Honor Award
2013 ACEC New York Gold Award, Building/Technology Systems Category

Mitchell Giurgola designed the gut-renovation of a 125,000 square-foot building in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Originally constructed in the late 1940s as the Fairchild Print Press, the once dark, mid-century building was transformed into an open, interactive and light-filled 21st Century home for NYU’s School of Professional Studies (SPS). The work involved designing all new infrastructure for the facility and renovating all floors to provide new classrooms, conference rooms, and administrative spaces. In addition, the south building façade was completed replaced. The design emphasizes both flexibility and transparency—accommodating diverse user groups while maximizing available daylight for the building’s occupants. 

The adaptive reuse of the existing structure embodies the principles of sustainable design practices. The resulting facility is a flexible, interactive and resourceful new home for SPS with a substantial increase in building efficiency. Sustainable design elements include a high-performance curtain wall, sunshades, a zoned HVAC system and occupancy sensors.

Building Program

Creating a Lasting Image in Harmony with the Surrounding Context

In replacing the south facade, the goal was to provide the School of Professional Studies with a new, lasting image in harmony with the surrounding context and calibrated to the scale of the neighborhood. An emphasis on transparency creates a sense of interaction between street life and activity within the building.

The existing 15,000 SF facade, originally designed and built in the 1940s, was outdated and under-performing. The mix of corrugated limestone panels with horizontal strip windows also rendered a dark and uninviting image for the building.
In contrast, the new facade is primarily unitized curtain wall with maximized vision glass. Sunshade devices introduce scale and detail while staggered vertical panels of dichroic glass bring an element of whimsy typical in the Greenwich Village streets.