Cornell Tech Campus Framework Plan

In collaboration with James Corner Field Operations, Cornell University, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the City of New York, SOM master planned and served as the Master Architect for Cornell Tech, a new applied sciences university. Free of academic departments, the school brings together an open and collaborative community of designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and scientists who are blurring the boundary between the academic and commercial world.

Such an ambitious program requires a campus that actively fosters interaction and creativity. SOM's scheme emphasizes the open nature of the pedagogy with a boundary-free, 12.4-acre campus knit into the promenades and green spaces of Roosevelt Island, developed with James Corner Field Operations serving as Open Space Master Planner and Landscape Architect. The campus offers expansive views of the Queens waterfront and the iconic Manhattan skyline.

A key feature of the master plan is Techwalk, a car-free pathway lined with outdoor "rooms," each uniquely programmed. Buildings are organized along this central spine. The plan calls for learning venues with open interiors and amenities such as cafes and exhibition spaces. Sustainability is also a driving force behind the design, with Phase I including the construction of New York City’s largest net-zero energy building.

With the first phase completed in 2017, the campus will continue to expand until it reaches 2 million gross square feet. The master plan is highly adaptable and can evolve to accommodate each new generation of buildings.