Cornell University overcame a big hurdle in their proposal to build a new tech campus on Roosevelt Island when the New York City Planning Commission gave their plans the green light this week. The proposed campus was approved by the community board last year, and now that it has received the city’s blessing the 12-acre project is set to break ground in 2014 upon the approval of the City Council. The new campus, which was designed in part by both Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Thom Mayne of Morphosis, will feature sustainable initiatives and will create opportunities for community and research collaborations to help further the energy and green development goals of the region.
The new campus will feature a canopy of solar cells, a classroom-free academic center and public cafes, as well as a hotel. The New York Times reports that the main structure, according to the architects and university officials, will be a “net zero” building, producing as much energy as it consumes. Plans to install wells harvesting geothermal energy and to collaborate with companies that are experimenting with turbines in the East River are also in the works.
In a statement featured on the Cornell Tech website, the university states: “The development will be a new, state-of-the art sustainable academic campus comprised of a combination of academic space, research and development facilities, a conference facility, housing, and publicly accessible open space. Overall, over two million square feet of new space will be located in a series of architecturally dynamic buildings.”
Upon full completion, the university expects to host over two million square feet of academic, residential and corporate research and development space. Their new home will host over 2,000 graduate students and several hundreds of faculty and staff.