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September 14, 2004

New Cooper Academic Building's Design Unveiled

100% pre-schematic sketch by Thom Mayne

As previously mentioned, Thom Mayne unveiled the conceptual design for the new Cooper academic building today at noon. If you know me at all, you know that's way earlier than I care to wake up, so I didn't attend the presentation. I did, however, make it to the reception at night to check out the opening of the exhibition featuring the design. (Plus get some free wine and hors d'oeuvres. There's nothing quite like free-loading off Cooper, reminds me of the good ol' days.)

Described as a "vertical piazza," the glass-enclosed nine-story building has a soaring atrium inside with views of the Foundation Building across Third Avenue. Rather than me try to describe it in words, you should go see the exhibition at Cooper (the pictures in the NY Times article linked above doesn't do it justice). It's really quite a wonderful design.

If my classes were in a building like this, I might have showed up for a few more of them. Just my luck that I went to an old, crappy building for high school (Stuyvesant) and shortly after I leave, bam! a new high tech building with state-of-the-art everything opened. And then, I went to an even crappier building for college and now they decide to build something that is worthy of a world-class institution instead of the local-community-technical-trade-school of a building that I went to. Do I sound bitter? You bet I do.

The exhibition is at the Houghton Gallery through October 23, 2004 (Mon-Fri 11-7, Sat 12-5, closed Sundays). Houghton is on the 2nd floor of the Foundation Building for those not in the know. And if you don't even know where the Foundation Building is, then I can't help you.

Update: Cooper has put up a site about the new building. Lots of contents are still not available though.

Filed Under: Architecture & Design