Cornell Tech Begins Land Use Review for Roosevelt Island Campus, Releases New Renderings

Cornell NYC Tech, home of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, today entered the seven-month land use review process for its new tech campus, in New York City. The Roosevelt Island campus will sit on a 12-acre site and is slated to open in 2017, with full build out in 2037. To mark the beginning of the process, Cornell Tech released new images of the campus, highlighted by preliminary renderings of its first academic building with plans to create a net-zero energy development.

“Just as Cornell Tech will be pioneering new approaches to graduate research and education, our campus won’t look like any other university campus that exists today,” said Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell Tech. “We are determined to innovate in every aspect of the development, from the way that students, faculty, researchers, industry and the local community are intermingled, to the sustainability of our buildings and their iconic architecture.”

Image credit: Kilograph

The campus is being designed to connect with the city and with Roosevelt Island, welcoming the public via a new north-south pedestrian spine that opens onto a series of central open spaces accessible to the public, capturing breathtaking views of the Manhattan and Queens skylines and linking to the Southpoint and new Four Freedoms parks at the Island’s southern tip. Its buildings will be designed to seamlessly connect outdoor and indoor spaces, highlighted by a large public café on the ground floor of the academic building that spills into the open space in good weather. The current plan to achieve net-zero energy for the academic building is via a rooftop photovoltaic canopy that will generate much of the energy needed to make it one of the largest energy-neutral buildings in the U.S.  The campus master plan is being designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP, with the first academic building being designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis Architects.

“While we officially start the public review process today, Cornell Tech has worked hard over the past nine months to create a robust dialogue with our new neighbors on Roosevelt Island and across the city,” said Cathy Dove, Vice President of Cornell Tech. “The campus plan was designed to be open to everyone, and we look forward to sharing this unique vision with all New Yorkers over the next seven months and beyond.”

Construction on Roosevelt Island is expected to begin in 2014, with the first phase of the campus due to open in 2017. The first phase of the campus is expected to include the first academic building, a corporate co-location building, an executive education center with hotel facilities, a residential building for students and faculty and 125,000 square feet of public open space.  At full build in 2037, the campus will include up to 2.1 million square feet of development, housing approximately 2,000 full-time graduate students.

The start of the public review process for the Roosevelt Island campus is another major milestone for Cornell Tech. The campus is now accepting applications for a “beta” class of computer science master of engineering students, which will begin classes in January in temporary space donated by Google in Chelsea. The campus soon will be launching additional academic programs, is actively recruiting star faculty, developing a distinctive new model of tech entrepreneurship, and designing its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island. Earlier this month, Cornell Tech announced a first of its kind partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce to bring full-time U.S. Patent and Trademark Office personnel to the campus to promote innovation and economic development.

Cornell University, with its academic partner the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was selected in December 2011 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to build the applied science and engineering campus, currently located in Chelsea until the permanent campus opens.  The new campus is offering a distinctive model of graduate tech education that fuses educational excellence with real-world commercial applications and entrepreneurship, rooted in the latest academic research. Students, faculty and industry experts will learn and work together to launch ideas and create new ventures that have global impact. The campus will attract the best and brightest in technology, immerse them in an entrepreneurial culture with deep ties to the local business community, and spur the creation of new companies and new industries in New York City. The updated campus master plan and preliminary renderings of the first academic building released today reflect Cornell Tech’s commitment to innovation not only in the academic program for the campus but also in its physical development.


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