Milstein Hall, Cornell University

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Milstein Hall, Cornell University | Notes of Interest

Milstein Hall is the first new building in more than 100 years for the renowned College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) at Cornell University. Rather than designing a new freestanding building, Milstein Hall is an addition to the AAP buildings, creating a unified complex with continuous levels of interconnected indoor and outdoor spaces.

The addition provides 47,000 square feet of new space for studios, gallery space, critique space, and the first auditorium solely dedicated to the AAP. A large horizontal plate connects Milstein to the second levels of Sibley and Rand Halls and extends over University Avenue to establish an urban relationship to the Foundry.

While creating direct and clear connections to the existing buildings was critical, the independent status of each building had to be maintained because of the Historic Landmark status of Sibley and the Foundry as well as the unofficial landmark status of Rand Hall. Structurally, each building remains independent with a 5-inch expansion joint between it and Milstein. Milstein’s upper level acts as the core of the new AAP facility, so the first important move was to align this level with the second floor of Sibley for primary circulation between the buildings. At the public ground level, the lifted upper level and sunken lower level of Milstein Hall allow for the continuous reading of the existing facades of Sibley, Rand, and the Foundry.

The insertion of Milstein Hall among the existing AAP buildings forms a new gateway for the northern end of Cornell’s campus and, together with the recently completed addition to the Johnson Arts Museum, transforms an underutilized area into a new corridor for the arts, planning, and design.

Additional Credit

  • Acoustical Consultant: DHV V.B.
  • Audio/Visual Consultant: Acentech
  • Curtain Design: Inside Outside
  • Elevator Consultant: Persohn/Hahn Associates, Inc.
  • Engineer – Civil: T.G. Miller P.C. (Site and Grading); GIE Niagara Engineering Inc. P.C. (Site Utilities)
  • Engineer – MEP/FP: Plus Group Consulting Engineers PLLC
  • Engineer – Structural: Robert Silman Associates, P.C.
  • Façade Design and Engineering Consultant: Front, Inc.
  • Graphic Design: 2x4, Inc.
  • IT/Data/Security Consultant: Archi-Technology
  • Landscape Architect: Scape Landscape Architecture PLLC
  • Lighting Consultant: Tillotson Design Associates, Inc.
  • Roofing Consultant: BPD Roof Consulting, Inc.
  • Sustainability Consultant: BVM Engineering

Photo Credit

    © Iwan Baan
    © OMA

Milstein Hall, Cornell University

  • Architect: OMA and KHA Architects, LLC
  • Owner: Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • Location: Ithaca, New York

Jury Comments

A powerful parti with emphasis on transparency places the entire design school on display to the campus in largely successful ways.

The hall is praised by users for its “transactional” qualities: The college’s activities have become far more visually accessible within the Cornell campus; spaces created are connective between Sibley and Rand Halls; and functional relocations—such as the design library—have enhanced communication between student cohorts within the college.

The exposed systems and relaxed social ambience tolerate and celebrate the creative clutter created by students.

The dramatic insertion of the new program in relationship to the existing buildings and site creates exciting new conditions while posing a series of creative opportunities for future uses and artistic additions by the college (some already underway).

More about Milstein Hall, Cornell University.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture Jury

  • Mary Katherine Lanzillotta, FAIA (Chair)
  • Hartman-Cox Architects, Washington, DC
  • Brian Fitzsimmons, AIA
  • Fitzsimmons Architects, Oklahoma City
  • John Kane, FAIA
  • Architekton, Tempe, Arizona
  • William Leddy, FAIA
  • Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, San Francisco
  • Philip Loheed, AIA
  • BTA Architects, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Robert Maschke, AIA
  • robert maschke ARCHITECTS inc., Cleveland
  • Douglas L. Milburn, Assoc. AIA
  • Isaksen Glerum Wachter LLC, Urbana, Illinois
  • Becky Joyce Yannes, AIAS Representative
  • Drexel University, Philadelphia

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