Challenged by aging facilities that impeded advanced research and recruitment, The Rockefeller University commissioned Rafael Viñoly Architects to assess facility conditions, and to develop a comprehensive plan that would enhance functionality and manage growth through 2030.
The result of this planning effort is the 15,000-square-meter Stavros Niarchos David Rockefeller River Campus, which provides life sciences research space and informal areas for study and collaboration. An administrative cluster, a conference center, and a dining hall serve the entire campus and activate the structure’s two-acre green roof, which extends the historic Dan Kiley landscape to the East River’s edge, opening up expansive views for the entire campus community.
Innovative, pre-fabricated modules expedited occupancy. The building’s superstructure was prefabricated in 19 multi-story sections and the 15,000-square-meter building was erected in 19 nights while the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive was closed to traffic for only 5 hours a night. A similar approach was taken to the laboratory case work, which was fully prefabricated in Italy and delivered prepared to be plugged into pre-wired and pre-plumbed gas, power, and data modules.
The completed project has added much needed advanced research space and enhanced recruitment while remaining largely invisible from the existing campus, thus protecting the integrity of existing historic fabric and the rich landscape of the campus while expressing its social commitment to the community through the upgrades to the East River Esplanade.