Founded by Principals John Cetra, FAIA and Nancy J. Ruddy, and led by a core group of distinguished principals, the firm operates on the commitment to creating inspiring environments that both add to the urban landscape in a meaningful way and inspire the experience of home. It works throughout the United States and abroad at varied scales and across typologies including multifamily housing, hospitality, education, cultural and commercial projects. An award-winning firm that has transformed several important New York buildings into desirable places of residence, always seeking out the story behind each building site, their deep historical context, and fresh opportunities to craft innovative solutions and lead clients on their journeys toward building a new legacy.
The intent of the project is to create a clear urban vision, harmony and dialogue between the new massing and the surrounding existing buildings within the block. Heights and setbacks of the new massing are important to achieving this vision. The podium height is less than the 80’ zoning limit, so as to remain below the height of the neighboring residential buildings to the south. On 125th street, the new podium massing seeks alignment with the existing Prentis Hall north facade. On Broadway, the podium massing is aligned with the new Columbia University Forum.
In order to achieve a better balance between the new massing height and the existing building heights, as well as light and sun penetration conditions, the garden is located at level two. If it were to be located at the ground floor, it would change the proportions of the outdoor spaces and reduce the incoming sun and light to the garden.
The tower is intended to house approximately 130.000 sqft of university residences. The massing is fragmented in plan and in elevation, to reflect the interior floorplate organization, as well as to reduce the visual impact and the shadow of the tower within the neighborhood. It will be planned with lobbies (hotel and residences), commercial spaces (5000 sqft for McDonalds), and a conference center foyer with meeting spaces across the street from and complementing the Forum. A large open space connecting the garden level to the ground floor at the conference center will strengthen the relationship between Manhattanville Campus and the new garden through the block.