Each team member takes a great personal interest in the culture and traditions of the organizations and institutions with which they work. By immersing themselves in the client’s culture and engaging the client representatives the appropriate design solutions are achieved. This approach assures that each project effort for which Chiang O’Brien is retained results in a successful project that achieves the specific goals and aspirations for each institution and organization.
Gannett Clinic, located on Cornell’s central campus, had served as the university’s primary health center since 1956. Cornell’s commitment to student health is part of the university’s teaching mission, and as such they provide healthcare, wellness, and preventative care services to the entire campus community. The project program called for a tripling in the size of the facility, to be accomplished on the same site, all while the clinical services remained in operation. The solution involved demolition of a portion of the existing building and construction of a 65,000 square foot addition, which served as surge space while the remaining 31,000 square foot existing building underwent a gut renovation. The completed project includes clinical spaces that meet current healthcare standards, a new atrium lobby, offices, and meeting space for administration and health education staff to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff.
The design responds to demands of the clinical program, existing building configuration, and rigorous site constraints. The major portion of the addition follows the line of the adjacent campus road with a sweeping, four-story curved façade. The first floor is clad in native bluestone in context with the existing clinic and adjacent buildings, forming a solid plinth that supports the three-story curtain wall above. As the road drops down toward the west, a driveway passes below the structure to provide access to the ambulance entrance and to a parking lot north of the building. Stair towers located at the corners are clad in limestone panels, and form solid visual anchors for the transparent sweep of curtain wall. A second addition on the north side is clad in limestone panels with punched windows that integrate visually with the concrete 1980s addition to Gannett Clinic.
A new Auxiliary Services Building provides space for the Campus Store, comprising the Damascene Book Cellar and the Red Dragon Outfitters, as well as offices for Auxiliary Services staff. Tucked into a hillside adjacent to the Hunt Union, the 20,000 square foot building is clad in the contextual Oneonta red brick, complemented by Indiana limestone panels and trim.
The design creates a main central sloped roof structured with heavy timber trusses that provide a soaring space for the Outfitters store, as well as clerestory windows for the second-floor offices. A green roof covers the flat-roofed portion of the first floor. The arched limestone gateway framing the building’s entrance features an iconic sundial carved into the stone above the window line.
Kendal, the first Continuing Care Retirement Community in the State of New York, provides a vibrant and nurturing environment. In the nearly 20 years since it was built, a new generation of seniors has developed different expectations for their living accommodations, dining options, fitness experiences, and life-long learning engagement, as well as for a more diverse neighborhood model of living. Recognizing these trends, along with the changing demographics of their residents and the inherent economic impact, Kendal at Ithaca last year embarked on development of a Repositioning Plan to improve the services provided and ensure economic viability for the future.
Successful repositioning is possible only through close collaboration and understanding of the goals and values of the client. Chiang O’Brien is teamed with Perkins Eastman Architects from New York City to complete an expansion of the facility. To start the visioning process, the entire project team of consultants and Kendal local and national staff visited peer facilities. The initial conceptual designs were developed through a series of intensive design charrettes with stakeholders – Kendal leadership, staff, and residents – all participating.
Olin Library, the flagship of the Cornell University Library system, also houses the central administrative services of the library. Renovation of second floor space, that formerly served as stack space and most recently was utilized for surge space during a Fire Safety Improvement project, allowed consolidation of supporting administrative offices into a single location adjacent to the main administrative offices of the library system. The newly created offices on the second floor allowed the return of public study and research areas to graduate students on the west end of the fifth floor. The new fifth floor reading rooms include 2 large reading rooms with tables and soft seating, a group study room, 2 smaller reading areas, 2 breakout rooms for small study groups, lockers, a computer area and a print/copy room for exclusive of graduate students and faculty. A part of the large 2,000,000 print volume collection housed in Olin Library, the collections housed in this suite focus on the social sciences and humanities.
Zabriskie Hall is a beautiful, early twentieth century structure that is a jewel of the Wells College campus. The project revitalized the building by stripping away the finishes and fittings from years of service as a science building to reveal high ceilings, classically symmetrical layout and details. The renovation enhanced every space with fresh new finishes that complement the historic qualities of the building.
The transformation of Zabriskie resulted in creation of a showcase building standing at the gateway to the campus, with the College Store and Cafe, and a lecture hall on the entry level that creates a compelling introduction to the campus. The Susan Wray Sullivan ’51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and the Institute for Sustainability and the Environment are the academic anchors.
As the college planned to relocate its art gallery to a new museum, expansion into the former art gallery space for the academic programs became possible. With the Math Department and Language Programs intermingled in the building, neither had a clear physical identity. Math students were congregating in the corridors, on the floor and anywhere they could find space to study in small groups and to have access to their professors while working on class assignments and before exams.
C.A. Johnson was originally designed as the College Library in the early part of the 20th century, renovations in the 1980s obscured much of the original interior architectural fabric of the structure, but the good bones of the building remained. Reshuffling of functions and people throughout the building allowed classrooms, special academic programs such as Quantitative and Symbiotic Reasoning Center and the Study Abroad Programs office, faculty, staff offices and classrooms improvements to all be accommodated. The highlight of the project is large student study space that creates comfortable individual and group study surrounded by all the faculty office of the Math Department.
The new building for Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes’ Clinical and Administrative offices in Ithaca plans will reflect the high quality of healthcare provided by the organization. After years of examining the feasibility of potential available sites as well as buildings for possible renovation potential, it was determined that a new 18,000 SF two-story facility was the most appropriate solution. The new building will house an 8,500 SF clinic on the ground floor with secure and private access to the facility from a patient parking lot on the property. Support spaces for the clinical staff, administrative offices and a large conference space to support their extensive community outreach education programs consolidate all these functions in one location.
Citrus TV and WJPZ Z89 Radio stations both had the opportunity to expand when the convenience store, wedged in a space between them, closed its operations. Support from the University Chancellor propelled this project to a high priority status. Completed on a fast paced schedule, renovations included improvements to the acoustical environment and a reorganization of studios which created a better flow and space for long needed support functions. New editing rooms, control rooms, and studios along with office and lounge space provide enhanced facilities. The Z89 Radio Studio was relocated to be adjacent to the main public corridor, allowing visual interaction between the on-air radio personality and the passer by.
As part of the college’s quest to improve the core academic program, expansion of the science program is a critical component. Renovations of two largely underutilized and antiquated undergraduate labs for Biology and Chemistry provide the college with safe and modern facilities to expand these programs. The fully renovated labs accommodate a range of wet and dry lab activities. Modern day teaching walls, a new layout and lab benches that accommodate current day teaching pedagogy, and HVAC systems all support these pursuits. The design team provided planning services and early concepts, construction and project budgets, and materials for fundraising efforts targeted at both individuals and foundations to assist the campus..
Constructed in 1925, the many stairs and levels of the Collegiate Gothic student union building posed significant barriers to accessibility. The challenge of the project was to create accessible routes through and within the building, while minimizing the impact on a structure of considerable architectural merit and cultural importance. The design solutions favor small interventions and careful detailing within the context of the existing material palette.
The design team worked closely with the rowing coaches to create an iconic building that would inspire the student athletes in the rowing program, as well as support the requirements for boat storage and maintenance, and athlete training activities. Resting on a base of native bluestone, the long, low, cedar-clad building rises to the sweeping curve of the mezzanine roofline, where a balcony overlooks Cayuga Inlet and the channel racecourse.
The Gothic college Dining Hall and the adjacent lakeside lawn are being rededicated to honor the legacy of President Emerita Lisa Marsh Ryerson ’81.
The outdoor terrace will have a panoramic view of Cayuga Lake providing a wonderful new gathering and meeting place for Wells students and the community on a nice spring or fall day. Evening and winter use will be enhanced by the gas fire pit that will also help create memorable experiences. The terrace will be used for special Wells events such as reunion and commencement, as well as many events year-round organized by student groups or local community members who will all be able to enjoy this new amenity as a place to sit, study or have a contemplative moment.
The Restroom Upgrade for Hendricks Chapel on the Syracuse University campus involved gutting the existing, inadequate restroom configuration and providing separate facilities for men, women, and families. Since “Hendricks Chapel is the diverse religious, spiritual, ethical, and cultural heart of Syracuse University,” it was important to address various ritual washing requirements. Wudus were incorporated in the men’s and women’s rooms for Muslim ablutions before daily prayer. A new vestibule and new finishes in the hallway complete the rehabilitation efforts of these sophisticated facilities.