The Cooper Union approached Method Design to redesign a ground floor retail space fronting 3rd Avenue with the objective to fold it back into the operation and fabric of the school.
- Method Design Architecture + Urbanism, PLLC
- Truline Construction Services, Inc.
- Icor Associates LLC, LSTN, Lauf's Engineering Design, Windsor Fiberglass
- Amy Barkow
The previous retail space offered a unique location as an access point at the southern part of the campus, and Method saw the opportunity of creating an Interdisciplinary studio between Art, Architecture, and Engineering—the three schools at the Cooper Union—that would come together to focus on Civic Projects as a combined brief. Civic engagement derives in part from a ground floor storefront studio coupled with radical projection & transparency on how students are performing work.
A two-way dialogue is set up where the outside world can see students make, work, and present projects as they evolve over the course of a semester. Within the space, vertical rotating display boards act simultaneously as pinup space and virtual projector to communicate to the street. The digital boards can house announcements, freshly created student work, or broadcast student communications. A key driver to this pedagogical space is the overhead environmental surface made up of fiberglass fins and LED lighting, which provide a continuous and even illumination connecting the open ground floor studio under a single device that mimics the effects of the Foundation Building’s famous skylights.
The design creates a dialogue between the student and the street, encouraging civic engagement and community discourse