Turner expects to complete the CRC and Smith Hall renovation this June and to begin the Flexner Hall renovation soon afterwards in August.
“When the economic downtown took effect, Rockefeller University was not immune, and the Flexner renovation was impacted,” Di Filippo says. However, working with the owner and building team, Turner was able to generate enough cost-saving measures to allow the Flexner project to move forward at a reduced cost but keeping the same scope.
Comparative Biosciences Center Turner completed the Comparative Biosciences Center, formerly known as the LARC Annex, in December. It will house investigators conducting neuroscience and behavior research, says Joe Bonner, spokesman for the university.
KlingStubbins of New York designed the new research annex to create a significant visual presence while complementing the adjacent 1970s era building, says Leonardo Diaz, design principal with the firm, in an email response to questions.
“With this in mind, the design concept was a simple, rectilinear, prism-like building to contrast with the character of the adjacent buildings,” Diaz says. “Layered with bright silver metal panels that are articulated in symphony with the adjacent buildings’ joint patterns, the solid mass of the building is further diffused by the curtain wall at the south façade that adds a layer of transparency and reflectivity that presents to students, faculty, and the public the most recent manifestation of the university’s ongoing mission of investigation.”
The 40-ft wide annex was built between two existing laboratory structures, the LARC and the Weiss Research Building, using a university loading dock drive for construction access. The building will house three floors of animal research and administrative and support office space and will includes a fourth floor mechanical penthouse and shell space.
During construction Turner instituted extensive sound mitigation to avoid disturbing animal research in adjacent buildings.
The Welch Hall renovation Kliment Halsband Architects of New York designed the $30 million renovation, restoration and adaptive reuse of five-story Welch Hall, built in 1929 and now used as a library, to meet the needs of current users. The hall will contain the university’s main library, dining rooms, lecture halls, and meeting and support spaces.
“The project is trying to return [the building] to a more multipurpose function and for it to become the center of campus life again,” says Michael Nieminen, a partner with Kliment Halsband. “The overriding cultural and academic purpose is to foster interaction between students and faculty, and to expand the front door to the campus.”
Owner: Rockefeller University, New York
Construction Manager, all three projects: Turner Construction Co., New York
Architect, Collaborative Research Center: Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, New York
Architect, Comparative Biosciences Center: KlingStubbins, New York
Architect, Welch Hall: Kliment Halsband Architects, New York
The work will return a two-story meeting room to its original purpose: a reading room, with views of the East River. Plans call for replication of the original cork floors and restoration of the lights fixtures and paneling.
Below the reading room, the former dining room will become a meeting space for 200 people, and high-density, compacted library stacks to store 80% of the 50,000-volume collection will move to the bottom level. The reference and special collection area will be located on the third floor.
Elevators with half stops will allow handicap access to the entire building. Windows will be replicated and replaced. The project will add a glass-enclosed fire stair and a mechanical penthouse and include renovation of the Founder’s Hall lobby, which serves as an entrance to Welch Hall, to create a more welcoming feel. Nieminen reports construction documents are 100% complete, making the project “shovel ready.”
“The Welch Hall renovation was intended to modernize the library and create a scientific ‘commons’ to better serve the research needs of today’s scientists,” says Bonner. However, “the Welch Hall project has been set aside as we attempt to raise funds to cover the project.”