Pace University Student Landscape

Architect: FXCollaborative

Owner:    Pace University

Location:  New York, New York

Category: Merit

This renovation, repositioning, and reactivation project spans Pace University’s two flagship buildings in Lower Manhattan while emphasizing the school’s identity. The 55,000-square-foot project recognizes Pace University’s evolving cultural and programming needs, responding with a series of interior and exterior interventions that shape new student-centric spaces and enhance the university’s connections to New York at large.

The project followed the 2016 master plan developed by the design team. It began with renovations of One Pace Plaza, the school’s hallmark mid-century building, and 41 Park Row, a city landmark and former New York Times headquarters. Located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and across the street from City Hall Park, the two buildings abut adjacent sides of a plaza formerly known as Printing House Square.

“This is an example of a well-executed adaptive project in a challenging urban context." - Jury comment

Significant improvements address the unique structural conditions of the buildings, improving efficiency through modernization and extensive technological updates. Both contain new spaces and identities serving the Lubin School of Business and Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. On the lower floors of both, the team inserted bustling student spaces that have fostered a more cohesive campus.

“This is an example of a well-executed adaptive project in a challenging urban context. The team reconciled competing needs and principles to provide a comfortable, accessible, and elegant space,” said the jury. “The façade was treated with a contemporary touch that makes learning visible from the street. Inside, the strong contrast in colors responds to the lack of big open views. This is a school where many students live off-campus, and this building provides them with a more refined space to be throughout the day.”

At One Pace Plaza, the transformed lower level includes a front door that looks onto City Hall, a courtyard entry adjacent to Williams Street, and a vibrant student landscape that runs between them. A student living room serves as an open and flexible space that encourages collaboration and conversation. Learning spaces span a range of scales and characters to accommodate both collaborative and quieter learners. A grand stair rising from a branded Lubin School of Business improves circulation and connects to the street.

"This is a school where many students live off-campus, and this building provides them with a more refined space to be throughout the day.”- Jury comment

The renovations to the lower levels at 41 Park Row, originally constructed in 1889, form a new home for the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. Its new spaces include a public art gallery that shows student work, a new commons, administrative offices, and faculty spaces. Together, they have further activated the building and created a new hub of activity.

Since completion, the project, the first phase of the master plan, has drawn praise from the university’s community and the broader public. Improving the student experience is the core goal of the plan, and this project has achieved that by providing spaces students need to learn and collaborate.

Additional information

Architect:  FXCollaborative

Engineer - MEP: AKF Group

Engineer - Structural: Gilsanz  Murray Steficek

Engineer - Civil: Langan

General Contractor: Sciame  

Construction Code/Life Safety Consultant: Walter T. Gorman

Lighting Consultant: HDLC Architectural Lighting

Acoustics Consultant: Longman Lindsey  

Landscape Architect: Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects


Olivia Graf Doyle, Assoc. AIA (Chair), Architecture for Education, Inc, Los Angeles, CA

Angela Freeman, Reynolds School District, Portland, Oregon

Evie Klein, Assoc. AIA, Pratt Institute, New York, NY

Mathew Ryan Lowe, DLA Architects,  Itasca, Illinois  

Image credits

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Chris Cooper

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Chris Cooper

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Chris Cooper

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Chris Cooper

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Chris Cooper