Occupying an exceptional site just south of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, this competition-winning design is the centerpiece of the first phase of Fordham University’s 15-year master plan for its Lincoln Center campus. Fronting on 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, the new building sits directly opposite Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.
The project consists of a 22-story building clad in a curtain wall of architectural precast panels, metal, and glass, shaped with a series of undulating arcs to make an engaging gesture toward Lincoln Center while providing a distinctive identity for the Law School. The latter is housed in the lower nine stories, with a residential tower for 430 undergraduates rising above.
The building creates a new northern boundary to Fordham’s Robert Moses Plaza with three distinct scales: a one-story dining pavilion opening onto the Plaza’s central green; the nine-story Law School, whose gently curved surface frames the Plaza; and the taller but quieter Residence Hall, with a slender convex form that turns away from the central green to address the Plaza’s eastward extension to Columbus Avenue.
The longer 62nd Street face of the building, overlooking Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, creates a lively and eventful presence in its spacious urban setting. Generous openings in the one-story-high base enliven the sidewalk while offering access to a public café and views into other spaces within.
The checkerboard-patterned surface of the Law School, rising above a landscaped terrace on the second floor, takes the form of a shallow S-curve punctuated by a hovering glazed volume, while the diagonal orientation of the Residence Hall above acknowledges the complementary diagonal alignment of nearby Broadway. The 468,000-square-foot building more than doubles the Law School’s previous program, event, and office space.
In addition to classrooms, lecture halls, and seminar and conference rooms, the structure features a skylit atrium, a moot and trial court facility, and a 562,000-volume law library. The Residence Hall includes five integrated learning center suites, a dance studio, entertainment rooms, and a dining hall accommodating 130 students. Designed for LEED Silver certification, the building implements many sustainable design practices.
The roof is planted with sedum, maintained with drip irrigation. Water consumption is further reduced with low-flow plumbing fixtures. Building materials include recycled content, regional materials, and certified wood. Optimized energy performance, enhanced commissioning, and the use of low-E coating to reduce heat gain ensure optimal comfort for occupants while improving the performance of the building. Source by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.
Location: New York City, USA
Architects: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Partners: Henry N. Cobb and Yvonne Szeto
Structural: WSP Cantor Seinuk, New York, NY
Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing: Cosentini Associates
Gross Floor Area: 468,000 s/f
Client: Fordham University
Photographs: Paul Warchol
Article by Marco Rinaldi