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

Drawing upon original ideas and extensive personal and professional experience in the field, David McFadden crafted this article to explore the untapped potential of making historic architectural masterpieces more sustainable. After working at various design practices—both full-time and freelance—and launching his design firm, David identified a significant gap in the industry. In 1984, he founded Consulting For Architects Inc. Careers, an expansive hub designed to align architects with hiring firms for mutual benefit. This platform enables architects to find impactful design work and frees hiring firms from the time-consuming cycles of recruitment and layoffs. David’s innovative approach to employer-employee relations has brought much-needed flexibility and adaptation to the industry. As the Founder and CEO, David has successfully guided his clients and staff through the challenges of four recessions—the early ’80s, early ’90s, early 2000s, the Great Recession, the pandemic, and the current slowdown due to inflation and high-interest rates.

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