Ground-breaking on new Cornell-Technion Institute of Technology in NYC to begin next month

Construction of the campus is set to begin in January with the first class on Roosevelt Island scheduled for 2017.

December 26, 2013 03:59
2 minute read.
Technion University

Technion University. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a 99-year lease last week, paving the way for construction of the joint Cornell-Technion University campus on Rossevelt Island, east of Manhattan.

Cornell University, in partnership with the Technion Institute of Technology, won the 2011 Applied Sciences NYC competition, having proposed the best plan for a new, expanded applied sciences and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island – The Technion Cornell Innovation Institute.

“Our goal has been to make New York City the global capital of technological innovation, and this new campus on Roosevelt Island is a central part of our strategy for achieving it,” said Bloomberg. “It is one of the most ambitious and forward- looking economic development projects any city has ever undertaken, and it’s going to help add thousands of new jobs to our economy in the decades ahead.”

Construction of the campus is set to begin in January with the first class on Roosevelt Island scheduled for 2017.

The entire complex, covering nearly 12 acres (30 hectares), will be completed by 2043 and will enroll some 2,000 students and employ some 300 faculty members and researchers.

While planning is under way for the opening of the permanent campus, Cornell Tech students began classes in the fall of 2013 in a temporary space, donated by Google.

“Cornell Tech is the proof that government and universities can work together to innovate and support economic growth, and we will be forever grateful for Bloomberg’s leadership in making this campus possible,” said Cornell University President David J. Skorton.

“The Roosevelt Island campus is being built for the future, to be the place that generates the next big ideas, the new companies and extraordinary talent that will change New York and the world.”

According to the Cornell Tech project’s website, the campus master plan – designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill – combines six key principles, including: a river-to-river experience, the North-South pedestrian spine (known as the Tech Walk), a collection of over 2.5 acres (6.1 hectares) of diverse open spaces, the importance of indoor and outdoor spaces, optimization of building use and performance and a livable and sustainable campus.

Furthermore, the campus will combine cutting edge technologies to create one of the most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient campuses in the world.

The campus was designed to “face the full arc of the sun and to maximize solar energy and daylight.” During the course of the first year, the campus will generate enough energy to activate the first academic building, designed by architect Thom Mayne. “Thanks to Bloomberg’s vision, New York City is fast becoming a leading global center of innovation,” said Technion President Peretz Lavie.

“Through the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, our international partnership with Cornell Tech, we look forward to helping to further the city’s future as the technology capital of the world.”

The 2011 Applied Sciences NYC competition included seven proposals from 17 worldclass institutions.

According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Cornell-Technion campus was chosen due to “the large scale and vision of their proposal, the long and impressive track-record of both institutions in generating applied science breakthroughs and spinning out new businesses, the financing capacity of the consortium, the focus of the consortium on the collaboration between academia and the private sector, and the overall capacity of the partnership to execute the project.”

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