Text description provided by the architects. The 41,500 sf Maritime Academic Center at SUNY Maritime College consists of 13 classrooms, two suites of faculty offices, and a large multi-purpose room that can be subdivided into three additional classrooms. The building’s design was driven in large part by its long, narrow site along the East River, resulting in a linear arrangement of two wings, which allows the classrooms to function independently from the multipurpose space. The main lobby is between, with a dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline.
In the east wing, the classrooms are arrayed along the north façade to link their activity to the campus and to take advantage of the northern daylight. The faculty office suites are located along the south façade with circulation and social spaces between.
Within the west wing, the multipurpose room is designed to have views to both the campus and water sides of the site, and to be a see-through volume when the room is not in use.
A glass-enclosed waterfront atrium with dramatic views of Long Island Sound and the Manhattan skyline links the east and west wings and serves as the pre-function space to the multipurpose room. Large exterior terraces on the waterside of the atrium as well as on its roof take full advantage of the site’s unique location.
Another major consideration driving the building’s form and placement was the site’s strong winds. The building’s form was sculpted so that it is minimally impacted by the winter winds, but can take full advantage of the summer winds for natural ventilation. Operable windows serve all the spaces in the building, including the atrium, where they are automated.
The building is clad in a stone rain screen that defines the building’s tectonics and references the historic fort on campus.
The building is seeking LEED Gold certification.