New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice has been faced with fortunate pressures: surging enrollment and the changing technologies of criminal justice and education. Yet, for years, students and staff continued to work out of several disjointed buildings in Midtown Manhattan. That changed in 2007, when the school broke ground on a new Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)–designed structure that would not only increase the school’s space, but also unify its campus, all while providing sorely needed space for student life, auditoriums, lecture halls, and the technological setup for a 21st century school.
The existing academic building sits on the opposite end of the block and the other side of the street from the school’s historic Haaren Hall, so SOM designed a city-block-length elevated landscaped area as a way to connect the disparate buildings and grade changes in a cogent circulatory system. At the site’s western terminus, SOM included a tower for academic departments and science facilities—a distinctive building, but also one that responds to its context. The steel frame is clad in glass with aluminum fins, which not only cut solar gain, but also customize the building’s finish. On one face, silver-specked mica-flake paint melds with the glass towers along the building’s western edge, while red-dotted silk screens on the eastern façade correspond to the school’s Haaren Hall brick cladding.
“The skin of the building is very successful in terms of being a system, on the one hand, but also creating a lot of variety.” —Mark Yoes
Project John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York
Clients City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York—Mustafa K. Abadan, FAIA (design partner); T.J. Gottesdiener, FAIA (managing partner)
Owner’s Representative Turner Construction Co.
Structural Engineer Leslie E. Robertson Associates
M/E/P Engineer and Vertical Transportation Jaros Baum & Bolles
Laboratories Planning GPR Planners Collaborative
Civil and Geotechnical Engineer Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Lighting Designer SBLD Studio
Higher Education Programming Scott Blackwell Page Architect
Landscape Architect Quennell Rothschild & Partners
Food Service Romano Gatland
Acoustical/Audiovisual/Telecom/Security Consultant Shen, Milson & Wilke
Graphics Lebowitz Gould Design
Door Hardware Consultant Ingersoll Rand
Environmental and Energy Consultant S.D. Keppler & Associates
Building Maintenance Lerch Bates
Zoning Development Consulting Services
Expediting Services RPO
Cost Estimating AccuCost Construction Consultants, Turner Construction Co.
Size 625,000 square feet
Photographer Eduard Hueber