New School University Center

New York, New York, United States

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AECOM Tishman served as Construction Manager for a new campus hub located on Fifth Avenue at 14th Street, The New School’s largest building project to date.

Designed by SOM, the LEED Gold, 16-story, 375,000-SF University Center includes state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, studios and distance learning instructional spaces, as well as nine floors of housing for 600 students, a two-level library and student study center, plus retail space on the first floor. The 800-seat John L. Tishman Auditorium features a convertible stage for theater productions, fashion shows and lectures, and two convertible classrooms.

Sustainable features include a green roof, an on-site cogeneration plant capable of generating 40% of the building’s energy, a graywater and blackwater treatment system that reduces potable water usage by 74% and sewer discharges by 89%, an ice storage system that lowers peak cooling requirements by 30%, the use of locally sourced building materials such as Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, and highly efficient LED lighting. The MEP plant includes dual-fuel boilers and a black water (wastewater) system.

The dynamic, heavily horizontal façade features shingles of Muntz metal – a brass-like blend of copper and zinc – a reference to both the cast-iron façades of the nearby Ladies’ Mile Historic District and the brownstones of the Greenwich Village Historic District. This richly colored metallic façade is cut through with horizontal and diagonal bands of glass that celebrate the building’s interior organization: visible from the outside are the grand communicating stairs that connect all academic levels and lead to “sky quads,” convenient landing points throughout the building that promote interaction and collaboration. Wide and open, they not only encourage activity, but also relieve pressure on elevators during peak traffic times.

Since the communicating stairs make use of a panelized wall system with a very complex geometry resulting in all unique panels – no two are the same – this presented a challenge during procurement. To address this, AECOM Tishman, in collaboration with the design team, drew on BIM to extract quantities and delineate the scope in order to convey more accurate information to the bidders, resulting in a final round of bids that were tightly clustered. The panels were prefabricated off-site and field installation was successfully implemented.

Given The New School’s location in a heavily traveled part of Greenwich Village, we collaborated with the school to develop a proactive approach that welcomed open communication among all involved. A community hotline and website with look-ahead schedules were established, along with a toll-free phone number for neighbors to call regarding any issues or concerns with construction.

Finally, Daniel R. Tishman, Vice Chairman of AECOM, donated $1 million to The New School to establish the John L. Tishman Scholarships for Sustainable Development, Design and Construction.