Manhattan Rockefeller University Starts Expansion Over Busy Highway

Manhattan Rockefeller University

When the Rockefeller University (a private university located in Manhattan, New York City) wanted to expand its school campus, the school’s administration faced the same problem with other developers – the lack of space.

The Rockefeller University had limited space for new construction as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive from 62nd Street to 68th Street on the Upper East Side is completely filled – and the real estate was unavailable on any edge of the school’s property.

Timothy O’Connor, the executive vice president of the university, stated that as they took a second look to its perimeter with the F.D.R. Drive, they found out that the building over it became the best option.

Mr. O’Connor said in a statement it is the only way that the area of the Rockefeller University will expand, and doing it is the most creative approach.

The $500 million project of Rockefeller University, called the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus initiative, will stand astride on the busy highway of New York and planned on adding a two-story building as well as two acres to the 14-acre campus.

The Rockefeller University’s official website claimed that they plan to make amends of the seawall along the East River and develop the public esplanade adjacent to the Rockefeller University campus.

The executive vice president of the university said that the project is very challenging, and it gets their creative minds pumping up.

Mr. O’Connor made it known that Rafael Viñoly Architects, the company working on the project, designed a building that is completely against New York, for the reason that it is horizontal, not vertical. The horizontal structure of the building should encourage collaboration between the school’s laboratories and faculty members.

Rafael Viñoly Beceiro, who is an Uruguayan architect, said that with fewer points of support compared to a traditional vertical structure, that means the building over the F.D.R. Drive was more expensive and more technically challenging.

“How do you create a significant expansion in a place like Manhattan?” Mr. Viñoly said. “It’s a clever way of dealing with the question of having a very limited footprint on the island.”

Curt Zegler, the project executive for Turner Construction, which is working on the university’s expansion, stated that building on top of the highway meant taking advantage of the air rights, which the Rockefeller University possessed since 1973, and be entitled to a new line in the world of development and construction, especially in the city of New York.

Zegler said that construction firm often looked to use a property’s air rights, due to the increasing demand for real estate and scarce access to land.

As scientists of the university looked keenly through the laboratory windows, the university staff members took pictures from rooftops as they witnessed the floating crane work.

David Moskovich, the 21 year old intern with Lehrer L.L.C. (a construction consulting firm for the project), stated that there is a complete change in the east skyline of New York City. Mr. Moskovich was among the 25 individuals perched on a university rooftop.

Moskovich also made a compelling comment by saying that the construction is a feat of modern engineering.

Rob Clark
 

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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