plans unveiled for cornell tech campus on roosevelt island
plans unveiled for cornell tech campus on roosevelt island
oct 16, 2012

plans unveiled for cornell tech campus on roosevelt island

international firm SOM has unveiled the masterplan for cornell tech’s new campus on roosevelt island in new york city. currently in preliminary phases, and preparing to open in 2017, the university technology and entrepreneurship campus has begun the land use review process and unveiled images of the morphosis-designed academic building. connected to manhattan and queens via a short walk across the roosevelt island bridge, the campus is afforded views from the east river towards both skylines. a pedestrian walk will link the southpoint and four freedoms park at the southernmost point of the island in addition to buildings connected with indoor and outdoor spaces.

plans unveiled for cornell tech campus on roosevelt island
tech plaza with first academic building and proposed solar canopy overhead
image © kilograph (also main image)



los angeles-based architect thom mayne has proposed a structure with a goal of net-zero energy, harvesting as much energy as it consumes. other buildings part of phase I include an executive education center with hotel facilities, residences for students, faculty and staff and approximately one acre of open public space. the entire campus will be completed by 2037, accommodating 2,000 full-time gradate students with 2.1 million square feet of housing.

plans unveiled for cornell tech campus on roosevelt island
central campus esplanade with open spaces
image © kilograph



currently operating in a google-donated space in chelsea, applications are being accepted for a beta class of computer science master of engineering studies with classes beginning in january 2013. forming programs, recruiting instructors and developing a new model method of tech entrepreneurship, the academic goals intend to draw international attention.

plans unveiled for cornell tech campus on roosevelt island
interior of morphosis-designed academic building with views towards east river and manhattan’s 57th street
image © morphosis


  • these are placeholders and pr and stakeholder eye candy
    show me a plan!

  • Roosevelt Island Bridge (not pictured) provides automobile access from Long Island to the east. The island’s largely car-free, though.

  • Is anybody else wondering how on earth would they get onto the island? It looks too skinny to have roads going back up to the bridge. I don\’t know. Surely captures your attention but I don\’t know how practical of a location that would be. Loud too?

  • Poorly scaled, same old stuff that we’ve seen before. Renderings soft-pedal massive buildings cloaked with people and trees. Another missed opportunity.

    William Green
  • banal chic…

  • jim & Mort, I concur. This is project as presented is not happening for lots of reasons. Logically and visually unreal.

  • Actually, this is a research center, which means the money for it will come from Big Pharma, Big Oil, defense contractors, agribusiness, and the federal gov’t, not students. It may open in 2017, but it won’t be finished (according to the NY Times) for 25 years.

    It look pretty nice from the inside, but these buildings have mundane, rather tedious exteriors and the grouping looks haphazard. This is an unparalleled opportunity to design something that’s visually stunning, surrounded as it is by the East River. New York City planners should insist upon it. Surely the big companies who will benefit from the research can afford the design fee and the materials cost.

    Mort d'Urban
  • Now that student loans have become the latest, obvious, Bubble.. will young people be willing to borrow enough to build this and all the other massive campus expansions going on in the U.S.?

    jim C.

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