At last, architecture students and faculty at the City College of New York (CCNY) have a home of their own.
On September 16, several hundred people attended the dedication ceremony for the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects. Not only is it the first new academic building on the public university’s Upper Manhattan campus in 30-plus years; it also is the first purpose-built facility for the architecture program. Founded in 1968, the program, which has about 300 undergraduate and 100 graduate students, was formerly housed in CCNY’s landmark building, Shepard Hall, alongside other academic and administrative departments.
Viñoly, who attended the grand opening event, says the new school was envisioned as “infrastructure for intellectual work.” Clad in white precast concrete and glass, the 118,000-square-foot building contains light-filled studios, offices, classrooms, a library, auditorium, model shop, and digital design lab. Key features include a five-story atrium crisscrossed by sky bridges, and a rooftop amphitheater that offers striking views of Manhattan. While mostly new construction, the project incorporated the concrete frame of a 1950s building formerly on the site.
The school is named in honor of Mr. Spitzer, a prominent New York developer and CCNY alum. The Spitzers recently donated $25 million to the CCNY architecture school, the second-largest gift ever given to a U.S. architecture program.