John Jay College of Criminal Justice / SOM

| © Eduard Hueber

The ribbon cutting ceremony for John Jay College of Criminal Justice, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), just took place early this month. Located in on 11th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets, the College’s new 625,000-square-foot building provides all the functions of a traditional college campus within the confines of a single city block and doubles the size of John Jay’s existing facilities by adding classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums, faculty offices, and student lounges. More images and project description after the break.

The new building addresses the College’s need for instructional and social spaces and creates a unified academic presence for the institution. “We designed a building for John Jay College that essentially accommodates the needs of an entire campus within a single building,” explains Mustafa K. Abadan, FAIA, Design Partner at SOM. “With our social cascade and rooftop terrace, the students will now have more opportunities for the interaction and chance encounters that are so essential to education.”

Courtesy Turner Construction © Bernstein associates

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of the City University of New York since 1964, educates 15,000 students annually in emergency response, forensic psychology, and cyber security. Before the construction of the new building, John Jay College was primarily located in Haaren Hall, an early 20th century building fronting 10th Avenue and North Hall, a former shoe factory on West 59th Street. The college had been steadily expanding for some time and, after the September 11th attacks on New York, enrollment increased dramatically to the point where the school outgrew its facilities. The new building is a critical component of John Jay’s transformation into a senior college of The City University of New York system and is an expression of the College’s continued commitment to “educating for justice.”

Courtesy Turner Construction © Bernstein associates

The new building consists of a four-story, 500-foot long podium and 14-story tower. The podium, which provides connections to Haaren Hall, contains dense social and academic programs and is topped by a 65,000-square-foot landscaped terrace that will act as a campus commons. The tower, known as “the cube,” contains faculty offices, academic quads, a conference center, and instructional laboratories. The scale of the new building is similar to its adjacent buildings along 11th Avenue and provides a strong visual presence for the College from the West Side Highway.

Cite: "John Jay College of Criminal Justice / SOM" 29 Nov 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>