The State University of New York at New Paltz
A three-level, 12,000-square-foot expansion of the 1970 student union at the State University of New York, New Paltz. The addition includes meeting rooms, a game lounge, a study mezzanine, group study rooms, and a large, informal commons. Ten thousand square feet of adjacent space in the existing union was renovated, including the bookstore and two floors of former offices, which became a food court and a gallery for social functions.
Design concept and solution:
The ikon.5 team sought to transform the gateway of the university by adding a new entrance to the concrete Brutalist student union. The expansion also gives students lots of informal gathering space, which was lacking in the existing building. Taking inspiration from a nearby rock-climbing cliff called Shawangunk Ridge, the architects envisioned the new building as a steel and glass palisade. To create an angular, column-free enclosure, they designed a structural tube-stress-skin system in large planar sections, which were assembled on-site like a giant puzzle. The architects laid ceramic fritted glass over the steel stress skin, choosing an abstracted rendering of the tectonic plates of the Shawangunks for the pattern of the frit. Inside, they added recyclable glass in blue and orange (the school's colors) to the concrete slab flooring and polished it smooth for a terrazzo-like look.
864 Mapleton Road, Suite 100
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: 609.919.0099 Fax: 609.919.0088
Location: The State University of New York at New Paltz
Completion Date: August 2010
Gross square footage: 10,000 new; 12,000 renovation
Construction cost: $10 million
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Joseph G. Tattoni, AIA, ALA – Design Principal