Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Size: 2,000 SF addition, 6,000 SF renovation
Completion: Dec 2007
The design transforms Princeton University’s existing School of Architecture building, improving the school’s connection to the campus and strengthening the academic program with new gathering and teaching spaces. The most prominent element of the design is a transparent, glass-enclosed addition that links the office/library and classroom/studio wings of the building. The link contains a new two-story lobby, elevator, stair and student lounge. The renovation includes modifications to meet handicapped and life safety requirements, as well the relocation of the shop and laser cutters to the building, significantly improving access to these important resources.
The addition is a threshold and circulation hub for the school, incorporating the existing concrete structure and residual space between the north and south wings into new program space. Adjoining all of the major spaces and programs in the building, the lobby is a new social center. The student lounge, a new program element, occupies the top level that aligns with the mezzanine of the studio. The position of the link also enables future growth of the school through the construction of new program space on the roof of the office/library wing. The link is clad in a four-sided structural silicone glazing system utilizing large panels of insulated, low-e glass. Ceramic frit patterns integrated into the glass unify the exterior surface and assist in controlling solar gain in different amounts on the east, west and south exposures.
The renovation respects the character of the existing building, while fulfilling several critical functional and programmatic objectives. To meet current life-safety requirements, the central stair in the classroom/studio wing is modified to become a code-required means of egress. Through new fire-protected glazing, doors and fire shutters, the stair’s openness is preserved and it remains an important social space. The existing computer lab is moved from the second floor of the building to the ground floor, creating additional teaching space for design reviews. Also, the shop and laser cutters are relocated to the ground floor from their present location in another building some distance away. Additional modifications to the building include a ground floor sprinkler system, an accessible toilet, a stair that improves circulation around the first floor jury spaces, and a new stair and ramp to Betts Auditorium.
[designed while at Architecture Research Office]