St Francis Academic Center
New York, New York St Francis College 60,000 sf
The last of the projects from Helpern Architects’ master plan to expand the Brooklyn Heights land-locked campus of “the small college with big dreams,” St. Francis’ new 35,000-sf Academic Center adjoined and shared vertical circulation with the main building.
Built to high standards of sustainability, the new Academic Center housed classrooms, the library, a theater/lecture hall, a cyber lounge, and academic offices. The concurrent restoration of the existing building revealed its original classical motifs.
The triple-height library included reading rooms and offices, some of them dramatic spaces. The Communication Arts area on the top floor has a combined 90-seat black box theater/lecture hall and TV production studio.
Sustainable design features to the Academic Center include in-floor air distribution, prismatic glass to enable daylight to penetrate deeply into spaces on the south side of the building, and non-toxic materials.
In addition, state-of-the-art information technology systems included wireless access to the school’s intranet and “smart boards” in the classrooms.