In Progress: John Jay College / SOM

In Progress: John Jay College / SOM
Image by Christopher Hoxie & Brandon Hicks

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, an active college in the City University of New York, currently occupies a former Public School building, Haaren Hall, on 10th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. With ownership of the entire Manhattan block, the college has ambitions to grow over two phases into the full Zoning capacity of the block. The charge of this project is to occupy the entire site with an integrated campus while providing a base for future growth.

The massing of the proposed expansion attempts to create a strong urban form, providing the college identity within the city. The building grows from an existing datum set in the adjacent Haaren Hall limestone base and dramatically rises to the west creating maximum visibility from both 10th Avenue and the Westside Highway. The presence of a significant Campus Commons is created in the void between the existing and new structures. A significant cantilever over 11th Avenue responds to the McKim, Mead and White designed Con Edison building across the street.


Challenged with extreme programmatic density, the college aspires to provide traditional campus attributes to its Liberal Arts and Graduate students. The program contains a balance between faculty and student functions composed of Student Services, Lounges, Assembly Spaces, Classrooms, Departmental Offices, Research Labs and Teaching Labs. The full program represents an entire college campus compressed into one city block, vertically. The diverse campus acts as a city within the city.


The Interior is organized by a cascading sequence of public circulation, dispersing students vertically through the facility. The cascade acts to organize program elements, maximize natural light, enhance orientation, provide access to all functions, and encourage interaction. Large stepped lounges provide both circulation and gathering spaces. The diagonal flow of traffic acts in dramatic contrast to the existing site slope, integrating all major instructional and amenity spaces in two directions. The Campus Commons acts as the culmination of the Cascade, creating a spiral public sequence that again connects with Haaren Hall at the main classroom level. The cascading flow acts to integrate the entire block into one unified college campus. Above the level of the commons the flow of circulation is directly vertical, with a series of interlocking Academic Quads: the Sciences Quad, the Law and Police Science Quad and the Humanities Quad.

59th Street View, Image by Christopher Hoxie & Brandon Hicks

The exterior facade is designed to create a counter point to the existing Haaren Hall. An all glass building is proposed to allow the diverse programmatic functions to read on the exterior demonstrating the “transparency of justice.” A series of large openings are composed on the façade giving greater presence to distinct program spaces while creating playful urban gestures. Through the use of white ceramic frit, the building skin will contrast significantly with the dark glass and masonry buildings of its context. Variation within the façade is created with the modulation of varying depth “fins” with contrasting surface treatments on opposing sides. Through this use of texture the surface will change in color and density depending on the viewer’s relation to the building. This experiential façade will appear to “blush” to its viewers as they move through the city.

Image by SWIM by the 7th art

Client: City University of New York, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Lead Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP T.J. Gottesdiender, Managing Partner Mustafa Abadan, Design Partner Marilyn Taylor, Planning Partner Jeff Young, Project Manager Christopher Cooper, Senior Designer Lisa Gould, Senior Designer Gaetano Punzi, Senior Technical Coordinator Lai Mei Chau, Senior Technical Coordinator

Image by SWIM by the 7th art

Preconstruction & Construction Manager: Turner Construction Co. MEP Engineering & Vertical Transportation: Jaros Baum & Bolles Structural Engineering: Leslie E. Robertson Associates, RLLP Laboratories Planning: GPR Planners Collaborative, Inc. Higher Education Programming: Scott Blackwell Page Architect Civil/Geotechnical/Hazardous Materials: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, P.C. Lighting: SBLD Studio Food Service: Romano Gatland Acousitcs, AV, IT, Telecommunications: Shen Milsom & Wilke Cost Estimating: AccuCost Construction Consultants, Inc. Graphics: Lebowitz/Gould/Design, Inc. Zoning: Development Consulting Services, Inc. Expediting Services: Jerome S. Gillman Consulting Architect, P.C.

Location: New York, New York, USA Total Project Size: 620,000 gross square feet Building Height: 240 feet Total Stories: 14 above grade Schedule Design: 2003 – 2006 Construction: 2007 – 2010 est.

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About this author
Cite: David Basulto. "In Progress: John Jay College / SOM" 27 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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