Inside* – Milstein Hall at Cornell

Milstein Hall, Cornell University | OMA

© Matthew Carbone

This edition of Inside* takes us deep into the studio spaces on Cornell University’s Milstein Hall. A state of the art extension to the College of Architecture and Planning that was designed by the international powerhouse, OMA.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Milstein Hall is the first new addition in over 100 years for the renowned College of Architecture, Art and Planning. It is is situated between the historic Arts Quad and the natural Falls Creek Gorge. The new building form redefines the entry into the precinct.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The college is currently housed in four separate buildings. Rather than creating a new free-standing building, the Milstein Hall building complex connects all the spaces creating a hybrid system of continuous spaces.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The main feature is a large horizontal floating box that attaches all the historic buildings together. It is constructed in a large exposed steel truss.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The exposed hybrid trusses were designed to balance structural efficiency at the cantilevers and maintain open circulation within the large open plan.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The studio comfort environment is maintained by the ceiling’s chilled beams that provide cooling by utilizing local lake source chilled water, reducing the need for large traditional HVAC mechanical systems.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Beneath the hovering studio plate, the ground level accommodates major program elements including the 253-seat auditorium and a dome that encloses a circular critique space. The materiality of the lower level, constructed of exposed cast-in-place concrete, adds a contrast to the upper plate’s glass and steel character.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone