September 1, 2011

Cornell Draws High Architecture Ranking

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Architectural Digest ranked Cornell ninth among campuses with the most significant architectural tradition on its list of “Top Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture,” according to a press release from the University.

“What’s remarkable about Cornell’s campus architecture is the range of unique landmark buildings from every period since the mid-19th century,” Gary Wolf ’72, a Boston-based architect, told The Sun. “There are well-designed buildings that respond creatively to the unusual topography, whether James Stirling’s Schwartz Center overlooking the gorge, or Willard Straight, built into the hill.”

The ranking also mentioned buildings by Sir James Stirling and the 1973 Johnson Museum by Louvre architect I.M. Pei.

“My favorite Cornell architecture from recent years includes the Ornithology Building at Sapsucker Woods, and the Cornell Plantations building, both of which are completely modern structures sensitively designed for their natural settings,” Wolf said.

The architecture magazine took into consideration that some universities have been more open to embrace a combination of classical and modern design. 

“Cornell’s cautious approach to contemporary buildings is captured in its decade-long saga over the new home for its architecture school, Milstein Hall,” according to the magazine.

The article includes a rendering of Milstein Hall, noting that “after two firms’ plans were rejected, a smart, bold design” by the New York office of Rem Koolhaas’s firm, OMA, was chosen. 

Architecture student Max Vanatta ’16 said he enjoys the unique designs of Milstein by playing with its “bubble seatings.” 

“I love it here,” Vanatta said. “It’s wonderful the way the campus fuses the classic with the modern.”

Other campuses in the ranking include University of Virginia, Harvard, Yale and Brown.

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Original Author: Tajwar Mazhar