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First Look: Rem Koolhaas’ Architecture For Architects At Cornell University

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First Look: Rem Koolhaas’ Architecture For Architects At Cornell University

| architecture, architecture critic | September 15, 2011

Cornell University’s new Milstein Hall for architecture studies, designed by Rem Koolhaas
It’s not entirely finished yet, and it’s been under the radar in terms of press coverage. But Rem Koolhaas’ new Milstein Hall, tucked behind the Arts Quad at Cornell University, has opened for the new school year, providing much-needed studio space and meeting areas for students in Cornell University’s architecture program.

This highly anticipated, 47,000-square-foot facility is part of a sudden burst of starchitects on the Ithaca campus: I.M. Pei, Richard Meier and Thom Mayne, all Pritzker Prize winners, are helping to shape my alma mater for the 21st century.

The I.M. Pei firm’s mostly underground addition to the Johnson Art Museum opens next month. You can get a sneak peak at its exterior at the beginning of my video, below, which focuses chiefly on the Koolhaas project.

Meier’s massive, Lego-like life sciences building, Weill Hall, opened in 2008. It strikes me, both inside and out, as antiseptic, almost hospital-like, unrelieved by the graceful curves that make other Meier buildings (including those at the Getty Center) more enticing:

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About the author

After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis, and starting his own design firm, David McFadden saw that there was a gap to be filled in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work, while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed - flexibility and adaption to modern work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early 80’s, the early 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the Great Recession of 2007.

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