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  6. 2011
  7. Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA

  • 01:00 - 1 November, 2011
Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA
Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA, © Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

© Matthew Carbone © Matthew Carbone © Matthew Carbone © Matthew Carbone +29

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ithaca, New York, USA
  • Client

    Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP)
  • Project Area

    47.000 sqf addition to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning - Studios, Crit spaces, Auditorium, Exhibition, Exterior Workspace and Plaza.
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

From the architect. Milstein Hall, the new 25,000 sqf flexible studio space at Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) in upstate New York, was opened last month for students.  The first new building in over 100 years for the AAP, the design by OMA was led by partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with associate Ziad Shehab.

"Not only is this going to be our new home, but everyone has a new attitude," AAP student Ben Waters told the Cornell Sun. "Everyone has this new-found sense of pride for the program."  The excitement from students and the AAP surrounding the new hall comes with no surprise considering the danger that the program faced in early 2009 - threatening both their accreditation and the hopes of a new OMA designed building eliminated from the campus.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Featuring a unique hybrid truss system of 1,200 tons of steel to support two dramatic cantilevers Milstein Hall provides a must needed connection between the existing Sibley and Rand Hall.  Professor Mark Cruvellier shared, "We have a couple of buildings here on campus that were always divided, and we’d always have to run back and forth in the middle of winter.  Here, we have a building that not only connects Rand Hall and Sibley Hall together, but one that also embodies architecture and design ideas."

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass and a green roof with 41 skylights, this “upper plate” cantilevers almost 50 feet over University Avenue to establish a relationship with the Foundry, a third existing AAP facility.  The truss system allows for a wide-open upper plate that will house sixteen design studios.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

"The upper plate of the box was a direct response to the need for interaction that the art field entails, though we realize this cannot be perfectly achieved or designed by architecture," Shigematsu commented. "Our ambition for the upper plate was for it to serve as a pedagogical platform for the architecture, art and planning departments – an open condition that could trigger interaction and discussion. I am sure the students and faculty will generate unexpected uses and conditions that go beyond what we have planned for it."

Thanks to architectural photographer Matthew Carbone for the amazing photos of this project!

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Milstein Hall is the first new building in over 100 years for the renowned College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The new building is situated between Cornell’s historic Arts Quad and the natural Falls Creek Gorge redefining the entry for the northern end of the campus.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Currently the AAP is housed in four separate buildings, distinct in architectural style and programmatic use but similar in typology. Rather than creating a new free-standing building Milstein Hall is an addition to the AAP buildings creating a unified complex with continuous levels of indoor and outdoor interconnected spaces. Milstein Hall provides 47,000 additional square feet for the AAP, adding much-needed space for studios, gallery space, critique space and a 253-seat auditorium. The additional space enabled a new master plan of the College’s facilities creating extraordinary new spatial relationships between internal programmatic elements.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

A large horizontal plate is lifted off the and connected to the second levels of the AAP’s Sibley Hall and Rand Hall to provide 25,000 square feet of studio space with panoramic views of the surrounding environment. Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass and a green roof with 41 skylights, this “upper plate” cantilevers almost 50 feet over University Avenue to establish a relationship with the Foundry, a third existing AAP facility. The wide-open expanse of the plate — structurally supported by a hybrid truss system — stimulates interaction and allows flexible use over time.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The exposed hybrid trusses were designed to balance structural efficiency at the cantilevers and maintain open circulation within the large open plan. A field of custom designed lights and chilled beams were carefully coordinated with the structural and mechanical systems using normally hidden functional elements to define the ceiling plane. The lighting is programmed by a highly customizable and efficient Lutron control system connected to daylight sensors to maintain constant light levels that balance the daylight with artificial light.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The studio comfort environment is maintained by the ceiling’s chilled beams that provide cooling by utilizing local lake source chilled water, reducing the need for large traditional HVAC mechanical systems. The heating is distributed through the concrete radiant heated slab. The efficient mechanical systems and abundance of natural daylight are possible through the use of high performance insulated glass units with Low-E coating on all the exterior glass walls. The building is expected to receive a Silver LEED certification with the possibility of achieving Gold.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The south-east cantilevered area of the studios, named the AAP Forum, is considered a unique space within the upper plate as it is most visible from the pedestrian walkways to and from the Arts Quad beneath as well as the transparency seen from East Avenue that is approximately the same elevation as the studio floor. Given the east and south exposure a specific solution to moderate the daylight was required. OMA looked to Petra Blaisse and her firm, Inside Outside, to design a custom curtain for this prominent corner of the building. The goal was to preserve views out from the studios towards the Arts Quad, maintain natural daylight without the glare and present a striking image at this northeast entry to the Quad. Inside Outside’s concept for this curtain is considered together with the auditorium curtain design using architectural drawings from the Dutch artist/architect Hans Vredeman de Vries to suggest another space outside of the Milstein Hall. The enlarged perspectival drawings are digitally printed onto white vinyl mesh and perforated with holes along the perspective lines.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The exterior of the upper plate responds with different materials to the performative demands of their position on the building. The 26,000 square foot roof is a sedum covered green roof punctuated by a cluster of northern facing skylights which gradually increase in size towards the darker center of the plate further from the exterior façade. Two different types of sedum create a gradient pattern of dots that transition from articulated small circles near the manmade Arts Quad on the south to a dense, larger pattern of dots towards the natural landscape of the gorge on the north.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The continuous twelve foot high band of glass façade makes the long hours of studio activity transparent to the public. Above and below the glass two simple thin bands of Turkish marble define the extents of the upper plate. The naturally occurring vertical bands of grey and white enrich the exterior with a specific scale and material that is unique and yet unites the different buildings despite the proliferation of architectural styles in this area of campus. The uniqueness of the naturally striated marble directly influenced 2x4, Inc.’s design of the custom Milstein Hall building ID located on the south cantilever’s east façade. The vertical line text is engraved directly into the full height of the lower fascia marble panels.

Underneath the upper plate a continuous ceiling of custom stamped perforated aluminum panels extend through both the interior and exterior spaces deemphasizing the boundary between. The enlarged metal panels fabricated on an automotive stamping machine define a scale that is at once perceivable to the traffic passing under the cantilever along University Avenue as well as the pedestrians occupying the spaces below. The vernacular reference to New York stamped metal ceilings creates an urban room-like space below the upper plate surrounded by the existing historic facades of Rand, Sibley and the Foundry. Above the grid of perforated metal panels acoustic blankets tune specific zones such as the road area to absorb noises from passing vehicles, the auditorium to improve audible performance and the covered plaza to reduce noise transmittance to the adjacent offices, classrooms and auditorium.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Beneath the hovering studio plate, the ground level accommodates major program elements including the 253-seat auditorium and a dome that encloses a 5,000 square foot circular critique space. The materiality of the lower level, constructed of exposed cast-in-place concrete, is adds a contrast to the upper plate’s glass and steel character. However both spaces create frameworks of raw spaces to serve as a pedagogical platform for the AAP to generate new interaction driven by the students’ and faculty’s ambitions and explorations.

The dome is a double layered concrete system. The exposed underside is a cast-in-place structural slab spanning the main critique space beneath the dome. The dome was formed using two layers of 3/8” plywood with a finish layer of 3/8” MDO board and poured in a single 12 hour period. The strip light pockets were cast into the dome together with the electrical and sprinkler systems forming a clearly defined central space out of a complex construction process. Above the structural dome slab a concrete topping slab forms the exterior surface of the dome. The dome serves multiple functions: it supports the raked auditorium seating, it becomes the stairs leading up to the studio plate above, and it is the artificial ground for an array of exterior seating pods custom fabricated in Brooklyn, NY by Fabrice Covelli of Fproduct Inc.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

From the main entry, a concrete bridge spanning 70 feet across the dome space draws people into the auditorium or brings them down the sculptural stairs to the lower level of Milstein Hall. The bridge’s structural concrete truss railing and stair allow the bridge to span across the dome column free.

Connecting the three levels of Milstein Hall a vertical moving room (12’-3” x 6’-4”) serves as the elevator. Large enough to facilitate the transport of models between the studios and the dome critique space it can also accommodate a chair and reading lamp. Custom designed by OMA and fabricated by Global Tardif and Schindler, the moving room, built from standard plywood panels, was fully assembled near Quebec City, dismantled and reassembled on site in Ithaca.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Milstein Hall provides the AAP its first auditorium and large scale lecture hall within its own facilities. The auditorium was designed to provide maximum flexibility to allow a multiplicity of programs and functions to occur. The auditorium is divided into two halves of fixed seats on the raked section of the dome and loose seats on the level section. When the auditorium is not used at its full capacity of 300 people, the lower level can be used for studio critiques and smaller meetings. The fixed and loose seats were custom designed by OMA and developed and manufactured by Martela Oy of Finland. Their unique design reinforces the flexibility of the auditorium as the cantilevered fixed seat backs fold down to form a continuous bench for higher capacity seating. The bench configuration can also be used for exhibition and display, or create a side table out of unoccupied adjacent seat. The simple rectangular form of the loose seats with the seat backs folded flat and grouped together can serve as tables for models display or exhibitions.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The auditorium can further be transformed into the Boardroom for University Trustee meetings. The Boardroom is assembled at the touch of a button which deploys 61 seats by automatically raising them from below the raised floor of the level floor section. OMA custom designed the solution to integrate the Boardroom into the auditorium and was developed and manufactured by Figueras International of Spain. Each of the 61 individual seats can be raised or lowered independently and is integrated with power, an oversized tablet, a storage bin and is attached to a post that allows 360 degree rotation with locking positions every 7.5 degrees.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The glass-enclosed auditorium provides a permeable boundary between academic space and the public. When privacy or blackout is required, a custom designed curtain unfurls from the auditorium balcony in one continuous form. The curtain is digitally printed on both surfaces with a different Hans Vredeman de Vries enlarged perspective print. Prints of classical columns are countered by the modern design of Milstein Hall suggesting a classical landscape on the interior and exterior of the building.

The insertion of Milstein Hall amongst the existing AAP buildings forms a new gateway for the northern end of Cornell’s campus and transforms together with the recently completed addition to the Johnson Arts Museum an underutilized area into a new corridor for the arts, planning and design.

All photos © Matthew Carbone

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA" 01 Nov 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/179854/milstein-hall-at-cornell-university-oma-2/>
Read comments

77 Comments

Soji BENN · August 16, 2014

Great design...

dinkle · June 16, 2014

Amazing

zerva · February 07, 2013

amazing art work ,,beautfully desighned,perfect for univercities..please send me its plan elevations and perspectives.....

Yk walking · November 27, 2012

planplanplanplanplanplanplan

parisa · October 19, 2012

i want plans!!!

JN · July 31, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/cDigZ7dD via @archdaily // Lovely building.

ok · July 21, 2012

chu?n ko c?n ch?nh...:)

rami the architect · November 23, 2012 08:06 AM

nice but we wish if we can see the plans
rami..the architect

maryamgholami · July 01, 2012

very nice,why dont have plan,section,eleveation in the archdaily????

maryamgholami · July 01, 2012

???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ???????? ????????

Joseph Kitchen · June 02, 2012

Educational Building of the Year, 2011 http://t.co/mQUbyNl4

Zaharova Ekaterina · May 06, 2012

Like this style! Milstein Hall at Cornell University
http://t.co/EvGrzmVQ ? ??????? @archdaily

Gianfranco · April 15, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University by OMA - http://t.co/FKJxyieu

JUNG-SAN GIM · March 24, 2012

good

Mohammad Alomran · March 17, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/n9SIcj4e via @archdaily

? · March 15, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA
:
http://t.co/3HudIMbp

Klaas Kresse · March 13, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/ZulhfPKg via @archdaily

samaneh · March 12, 2012

just say beautiful

agam djohar afandi · March 10, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/pS48RfY5 via #archdaily

Tricia M Barry · March 10, 2012

Beautiful! So great to see Milstein Hall winning Building of the Year @archdaily http://t.co/fRY7msvq via

luis fernandez · March 10, 2012

RT @matthewcarbone @MUDEO: Seriously awesome photos of OMAs Milstein Hall http://t.co/N0ov7a8u // one of @ArchDaily&#39s Buildings of the Year

Matthew Carbone · March 09, 2012

Seriously awesome photos of OMA&#39s Milstein Hall by @matthewcarbone http://t.co/m7AigWML // one of @ArchDaily&#39s Buildings of the Year

MUDEO · March 09, 2012

Seriously awesome photos of OMA&#39s Milstein Hall by @matthewcarbone http://t.co/m7AigWML // one of @ArchDaily&#39s Buildings of the Year

FKArchitects · March 09, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | My Personal Fav from the @ArchDaily Building of the Year Winners. http://t.co/kCVy73xK

Kristijan Jordanov · March 08, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/raMri4cX via @archdaily

Michele Acuto · March 08, 2012

@lysistratus oh and: Milstein Hall @Cornell_Univ - ArchDaily Building of the Year: meanwhile @HBC.. http://t.co/iXRaLtWx via @archdaily

Mariano Nuñez · March 08, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/hz6wZiQz via @archdaily

maria teresa carmona · February 24, 2012

cuando era chiquita quería estudiar arq en Cornell sólo para estar cuando inauguraran este edif --> http://t.co/jei4OWFT qué cuchi era

Simon Dauwe · February 23, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/lEUifjq4 via @archdaily

Lynn Hu ?? · February 11, 2012

Going to Cornell this weekend. I need to see this! http://t.co/7F9ozBdk

booking hotels online · January 15, 2012

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WTR Photography · January 14, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/xbfFosJ1 via @archdaily

asteria · January 11, 2012

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Bryte Design · January 06, 2012

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/s1hbNIgW via @archdaily

dlee · November 26, 2011

and also wtf we don't even have the access to the roof yet...

dlee · November 26, 2011

lol I know all the people in the photograph...

miwa · November 24, 2011

RT @sshigematsu: Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/Mmb6TnJT via @archdaily

Nanami X · November 17, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily - http://t.co/8pmbYeJS

j_long · November 14, 2011

Totally agree with maurice...

Alex Kuby · November 12, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA http://t.co/Hy8Mp4HQ

gani zakaria · November 10, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/Z3rMANLn via @archdaily

Pedro Andreu · November 10, 2011

new conception open studio space by OMA ... http://t.co/e9iRXRmE

ono takeshi · November 05, 2011

OMA????????????????????????? http://t.co/V1EDsB5X via @dezainnet

Ali_J · November 05, 2011

I miss you Cornell dearly! And good job, Rem:

http://t.co/LBXmjH85

????? · November 04, 2011

@yamasa7 ???Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily?http://t.co/dgMzaB7r

????? · November 04, 2011

??????????????3??????????????????????????????????????Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily? http://t.co/dgMzaB7r

Arqui Diseño Anahuac · November 04, 2011

http://t.co/FN2oPzy1 Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA

Simi · November 03, 2011

The huge overhang and and drab gray space underneath is very unfortunate. This is a building that collides with its neighbors rather than responds positively to the context. I think we've move away from this sort of heavy, scaleless and arrogant architecture.

Cornell Alumni · November 03, 2011

Designed for designers: Great interior/exterior images of the new Milstein Hall http://t.co/9kN80Ux1 #cornell #AAP

Jadul · November 03, 2011

Interesting funky interiors. But the exterior is a rude intrusion on the campus. It is a slap in the face to the older buildings. - Come on Rem, At least TRY to respect the context ... even just a little bit would be nice.

andi · November 03, 2011

nice design....

Fred Thwainy · November 03, 2011

Our new studio, I&#39m in pic 6, am I famous yet? "Milstein Hall at #Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/FZipLF6C via @archdaily"

David Neustein · November 03, 2011

SURVEY: excellent recent work in New York State, Tel Aviv + Grande Synth http://t.co/PNQD2B6H http://t.co/X75xpEmB http://t.co/XdK0oRzI

Laura Rodz · November 03, 2011

Love it ! Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/bIz4qxQE vía @archdaily

Gosia Kung, AIA · November 03, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University http://t.co/Vl0f6cif

Christoph Kapeller · November 03, 2011

OMA&#39s Milstein Hall at Cornell University. Love to see the drawings. http://t.co/hKPt1FWz

Dan Salomon · November 02, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/GC8NdQEt via @archdaily #arquitectura

José María Rincón · November 02, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/slR0vt3m vía @archdaily

Santi Maggio Savasta · November 02, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA http://t.co/hQfBXZsN #Architecture #Architettura

James · November 02, 2011

Best from OMA in awhile. Has the feeling of some of their earlier work.

Ornament and Crime · November 02, 2011

Incredible work. A landmark building without trying to be.

Immediate Entourage · November 02, 2011

This looks like a sensational amount of work and coordination.

noam · November 02, 2011

plans? sections? elevations? something? i mean the photos are great, but will be nice to have some more...

hok · November 02, 2011 03:03 AM

There's a couple of drawings on Cornell's website here, but I'm afraid that the quality isn't too great. http://aap.cornell.edu/milstei...

saad estanbuli · November 01, 2011

I would like to be amember of yore team
thank u

robledo duarte · November 01, 2011

This is the finest building of OMA. The insertion between the old buildings is perfect. Mr. Koolhas begins to see that history is very important.
Architects that don't respect past, have no future.

Karen · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/aPJBtzCS via @archdaily

Carolina Bracho · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/BeNpoAW6 via @archdaily

H-J · November 01, 2011

One of their best projects...

Hank · August 01, 2014 09:12 AM

I was blessed to b a part of building this great structure,.... Ironworker,.. Local #60 Syr.,Ny

Natalie_Cast · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA http://t.co/sXOqz8NJ #architecture

Chris · November 01, 2011

Hi-tech, yet undeniably quirky at the same time. I dig the vibe.

Yampiero · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/fqmkZsAp vía @archdaily #Arquitectura

yasushi nakamura · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/gJqBejGg via @archdaily

Jeff Pleshek · November 01, 2011

OMA makes some serious Space, inspiring for the designers - Milstein Hall at Cornell http://t.co/6Xt00Erw via @archdaily

daniella molina · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/hLX7tkAp via @archdaily

???° by T M ° · November 01, 2011

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA | ArchDaily http://t.co/13xXZSMk via @archdaily

??? · November 01, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Amazing photos of the recently completed Milstein Hall by OMA (led by @sshigematsu) by @matthewcarbone http://t.co/sAfdwrAH

an pia · November 01, 2011

Amazing photos of the recently completed Milstein Hall by OMA (led by @sshigematsu) by @matthewcarbone http://t.co/lYylmoXL

···

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Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA