Board Backs Bold Brass Building New University Center Design Unveiled

On Wednesday, May 6 the Board of Trustees approved the design for The New School’s University Center, which was officially unveiled with an open house reception at the Lang Center the following day.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Roger Duffy, the 16-story tower will rise on 65 Fifth Avenue, between 13th and 14th Streets. Replacing a three-story building that The New School had outgrown, the University Center will boast a 608-bed dormitory, seven floors of academic facilities, a library, and an auditorium with adjustable walls to configure rooms for an array of student and community purposes. The 350,000 square-foot building represents a reduction in scale from the university’s initial 500,000 square-foot proposal, which was redesigned due to community concerns and budget constraints.

The planned design, whose beveled brass cladding recalls the exterior of the original New School building at 66 W. 12th Street, was lauded in the design press. A leading architecture blog called the University Center bold,, and blinged-out,, while New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff described it as a celebration of the cosmopolitan city.,

The University Center is scheduled to open for the fall 2013 semester.