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Project

Cornell University, Bill & Melinda Gates Hall

This is not the typical black-box computing and information science building.

Lead Contact

Project Details

Project Partners
Morphosis
Owner
Cornell University
Location
Ithaca, New York
Completion Date
Area
100,500 ft²
Sustainability
LEED Gold Certification
Project Awards

Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award, 2017

Chicago Athenaeum, GOOD Green Design Award, 2017

ENR, Best of the Best, 2015

ACEC-NY, Diamond Award for Building-Technology Systems, 2015

Bentley Be Inspired Awards, Special Recognition for Advancing Collaborative BIM, 2014

Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, 2014

Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Matthew Carbone, Photographer LLC
Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Matthew Carbone, Photographer LLC
Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Matthew Carbone, Photographer LLC
Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Courtesy Morphosis
Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Courtesy Morphosis

A Gleaming, Futuristic Home for Computing Science

Curved lines intersecting with linear angle. Lots of glass and light. Dozens of green features adding up to LEED Gold certification. This is not the typical black-box computing and information science building.

We provided structural and façade engineering services to Morphosis for this four-story building, completed in 2014, which houses laboratories and teaching facilities for Cornell University's Department of Computer Science and the Department of Information Science.

Highlights

  • Optimized steel framing allowed for large cantilevers and open spaces while maintaining a lightweight and stiff structural system that married well with the delicate façade.
  • The curtain wall consists of sloped and vertical glazing with integrated brackets that support perforated, folded stainless steel shading panels.
  • Our engineering of both the façade and its structural support allowed the project team, headed by Morphosis, to address proposed design changes quickly and efficiently.
  • When the approach switch from a stick-built system to a unitized curtain wall system, the project team was able to review options and implement solutions that worked within the established budget and schedule. The project came in below original budget estimates.
  • The team tracked the project’s overall embodied energy with GreenSpace, Thornton Tomasetti’s custom embodied energy / carbon parametric analyzer. Results estimated that a concrete-framed building with the same column grid would be at least 50% heavier given the complexity of the superstructure.