Francis Cauffman Architects (FCA)

Francis Cauffman Architects (FCA)

Philadelphia, PA | New York, NY


The New School Innovation Center

Francis Cauffman was retained by the New School to provide programming and pre-design services through full documentation to adaptively reuse a Gold Cost mercantile building for their Innovation Center.  The hybrid instructional uses are intended to be housed in an environment where new pedagogic methods are developed and new technologies can be deployed.   The Center will bring together faculty and students from across the University to work together in ways that facilities have not permitted in the past.  Ultimately, the intersection of advanced classrooms, labs, lounges, workshops, an event hall, and support spaces will result in a dynamic academic hub.  This cross disciplinary forum will be controlled by the registrar to ensure implementation of a University-wide plan to coalesce shared uses that engender a sense of community on the Greenwich Village Campus.

Spatially, the Innovation Center will be a flexible, technology enabled, but device independent, series of collaborative spaces.  Programmatically its spaces and technology backbone must support “pooled” classroom uses in addition to a variety of mutually interdependent design, media and film related teaching, research and project activities.  Instruction and research may be highly discreet and/or integrated as required by the objectives of specific instruction and study. 

As part of a larger planning effort, this project is a densification of fragmented program into an integrated digital learning lab for state-of-the-art delivery of curriculum.  Once completed, the Center will enable the University to better respond to growing demand for digitally “flipped” classrooms and accompanying drop-in and instructional computer labs.  Ancillary academic support spaces will be intertwined into the facility generating an environment that students and faculty develop an affinity for well beyond a pedestrian instructional facility.  An important part of the planning and design process is to develop a compelling brand identity that will establish the Innovation Center as a destination – spaces and places desired before and after scheduled coursework.  

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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Architect & Interior Designer