The Transformation of Upson Hall: How an Outdated Post-War Building became a New Paradigm for Collaborative Learning, Innovative Research and Energy-Efficiency on the Cornell Campus
The New York City-based practices of Perkins + Will, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL), Thornton-Tomasetti, and ME Engineers formed a unique interdisciplinary design team to address the aesthetic, programmatic, and sustainable transformation of the post-war-era Engineering Quadrangle at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Beginning with a master plan for the energy-responsive re-envisioning of seven buildings originally designed by Perkins + Will in 1956, the project then focused on the renovation and re-cladding of the existing 160,000-square-foot Upson Hall to accommodate an engineering laboratory, classrooms, office and student project spaces for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
With LTL’s national reputation for design excellence in academic environments, Perkins + Will’s extensive expertise in innovative school design and campus planning, Thornton-Tomasetti’s integrated approach to façade design, energy-modelling, and forensic structural analysis, and ME’s inventive, data-driven approach to building systems, the team brought a highly collaborative approach to the design of this challenging project. Working closely with Cornell’s College of Engineering and Campus Facilities group, the design team completely transformed the existing building, creating a state-of the art, award-winning, LEED Platinum facility to support multiple engineering disciplines and achieving the goal of making Upson Hall a model for the re-invention of buildings on the Ithaca campus.
Robert Goodwin, FAIA LEED AP BD+C, Principal / Design Director, Perkins and Will
David Lewis, AIA, Principal, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis
Ed Bosco, PE LEED AP BD+C, Principal, ME Engineers
Rob Otani, PE, Principal, Thornton-Tomassetti Engineers