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
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.
Ecological Innovation +
− E-coating on new window glass limits passage of heat
− Renewable cork floors prevent dust to improve air quality
− Wood cores certified for recycled content and recovered wood product
− Wood obtained from sustainably managed forests and certified for compliance with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
− Metal shelving composed of 80-90 percent recycled steal content and finished with power-coat paints that emit no VOC
− Majority of existing windows replaced with new all-wood window sized frames to provide a tighter and more efficient weather-seal
Arthur C. Danto, Artforum, April 2008 “The quiet, the generosity of the spaces - the ratio between the height and width of the corridors, the dark cork floors, and the cadence of the wide office doors, made of ash that is whitewashed on one side and ebonized on the other, with the pivots enabling both sides to be seen at once - creates an environment considerate of thought and discourse that really manages, I feel, to express philosophy in architectural terms.”