New York, United States 2007



PROGRAM: NYU Department of Philosophy Faculty Offices and Graduate Student Offices, Seminar Rooms, Periodicals Library and Lounge with a Ground Floor 120-seat Auditorium to be used by the NYU Faculty of Arts & Science and University Community.
CLIENT: New York University
    SIZE: 30,000 sq ft
STATUS: complete

The Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and a committee of Philosophy Professors collaborated in the selection of Steven Holl Architects to design the complete interior renovation of an 1890 corner building at 5 Washington Place for the consolidation of the New York University Department of Philosophy within a concept which organizes the new spaces around light and phenomenal properties of materials.

A new stair shaft below a new skylight joins the 6-level building vertically with a shifting porosity of light and shadow that change seasonally. Prismatic film was installed on the south-facing stairwell windows which occasionally break the sunlight into a prismatic rainbow. The Ground level, utilized by the entire University, contains a new curvilinear wooden auditorium on a cork floor. The upper level floors contain Faculty Offices and Seminar Rooms which are done in different shades and textures of black & white, according to the texts in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s book ‘Remarks on Colour’.

The building exists within the NoHo Historic District and is within the jurisdiction of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The building is part of the main NYU campus within New York City’s Greenwich Village and is sited on access to Washington Square Park.




  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect )
    • Tim Bade ( partner in charge )
    • Edward Lalonde ( project architect )
    • Ernest Ng ( assistant project architect )
    • Lesley Chang, Nick Gelpi, JongSeo Lee, Irene Vogt, Ebbie Wisecarver, Clark Manning (project team)
  • structural engineer
    • – Robert Silman Associates
  • MEP Engineer
    • – Ambrosino Depinto & Schmeider (ADS)
  • lighting consultant
    • – Renfro Design Group
  • audio/visual consultant
    • – Ove Arup & Partners
  • acoustical consultant
    • – Shen Milsom & Wilke
  • security consultant
    • – C.H. Guernsey & Company
  • construction manager
    • – F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.