SOM wraps up construction for The New School in New York


The architects behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, SOM, has now completed the campus building for the New School in New York. It features faceted concrete staircases that connect a string of social spaces inside that are visible on the exterior of the building through huge diagonal windows.

SOM designed the University Centre providing 35,000m of teaching facilities and student housing for The New School, which allows the university to pull its activities away from areas around the city and combine them onto its Greenwich Village campus.

The 16-storey building interpreted as a “campus within a building” contains student housing in its nine upper floors, with the seven lower floors accommodating multi-purpose classrooms, design studios, laboratories, an 800-seat auditorium and the main university library.


The social areas within the building are called “sky quads” providing space for faculty and students to interact and relax between classes.

Routes between spaces are created through broad staircases clad with glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels, alternating between straight and diagonal trajectories with some integrating seating areas.

Roger Duffy, design partner at SOM said: “The University Center transforms the traditional university environment. Rather than compartmentalising living and learning spaces, we strategically stacked these functions to create a vertical campus that supports the kind of interdisciplinary learning that has defined The New School since its founding.”

Photography is by James Ewing.

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