SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership

SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership

New York, NY


Advancing the Mission: The Cooper Union at 150

As part of its 150th anniversary and overall institutional rebranding, the Cooper Union retained LHSA+DP to design Advancing the Mission, a new permanent exhibition in the lobby of its influential Great Hall. Widening the space’s volume, and honoring the Great Hall’s historically significant architecture, the exhibit invites visitors to discover the Hall’s role in promoting the institution’s growth through ideals of democracy, social justice, philanthropy, and public education. An encompassing red drum creates a meditative entryway, taking its shape from the building’s enigmatic elevator, and quotes from the Union’s founder wrap pillars supporting the architecture: “We are all bound up in one common destiny.” Glass panels double as layered graphic surfaces and protective casework for artifacts, and wall paper graphics set a relevant backdrop for presenting the stories of iconic radicals who took the Great Hall stage over the years, including Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and Frederick Douglass. Visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to recognize that many cultural shifts of national scale were launched from this very site through democratic community activism.

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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Exhibition Design