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Cornell University – College of Human Ecology

Designed to stimulate a broad spectrum of creative research and innovative thinking, Cornell University enlisted IBI Group to create an unparalleled experience for faculty and students alike in its new College of Human Ecology building.

State University Construction Fund, Cornell University & the College of Human Ecology
Ithaca, NY
LEED Platinum certified LEED
2011 Completed
227,300 sq ft Total Area (Building & Garage)

Cornell University wanted to showcase the research and creativity that was happening in its Human Ecology program. At the heart of IBI Group’s design philosophy for the new facility was the input of students which was incorporated from the outset.

Looking to attract the very best and continue Cornell’s reputation as a premiere Ivy League school, the Human Ecology Building is perched on a plinth that offers dramatic views of the campus. The 227,300 sq ft project was completed in 2011 and consists of three elements: a three-story academic building, the commons, and a parking garage.

  • In the academic building, cutting-edge teaching and research spaces were designed, as were social areas, where cross-departmental dialogue is encouraged. Faculty and assistant offices, seminar and conference rooms, a wood shop, gallery, drawing and apparel studios, environmentally-controlled research spaces, computer rooms, and a costume collection were developed to complete the program’s needs. The building is energy efficient, utilizing natural daylight, insulated panels, low energy and fritted glass, as well as fully integrated building systems.
  • The commons area links the existing building and the new addition by providing flexible space where students and faculty can hold impromptu meetings, enjoy the cafe, and where events can take place.
  • The facility’s underground parking garage is composed of natural materials, serving as an elegant exterior transition between the breathtaking landscape and the glass paneling of the College building.

The Human Ecology Building was built on budget and on schedule, is highly visible, and serves as a model of sustainable design. IBI Group’s design affirms the school’s stature as a prestigious academic institution and marks a fresh beginning for The College of Human Ecology.

Patio outside Cornell university Ithaca
Photo by Paul Warchol
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Award of Merit


By AIA New York State Design Awards

A new generation of minds is reshaping the way we approach education at all levels of learning. IBI Group's design affirms the ethos and stature of Cornell University as a prestigious academic institution and marks a fresh beginning for The College of Human Ecology.

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