di Domenico + Partners

Cornell University - Fernow Hall Wins AIANYS Excelsior Merit Award

di Domenico + Partners is pleased to announce that the completed Rehabilitation and Addition at Fernow Hall - Cornell University, has received an American Institute of Architects New York State Excelsior Merit Award for Public Architecture. The team accepted the award at a reception in Albany, NY last month.

The rehabilitation aimed to preserve and restore the century-old building's character-defining elements with minimal historic impact. It was paramount that the new design be sensitive to the historic detail of the original building while updating the Department of Natural Resources with new offices, conference rooms, and collaboration spaces.

The design of the restoration and addition was also a two-part landscape intervention. The scale of the historic building and its terracing on Cornell's sloped site was preserved, while the addition consisted of inserting a glass structure into the site's natural topography. The newly created 1,700 SF space is not only a 50-student classroom, but a symbolic and physical connection between interior and exterior learning environments, as well as a platform to grow experimental plants on both roof and rain garden - thus supporting the department's mission for research and hands-on horticulture.

The design team employed passive systems and numerous sustainable features that were sensitive to the building's historic quality in order to minimize energy consumption and to meet criteria for LEED Gold certification, which was achieved.

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