Pratt Institute
Student Union
New York, NY
11,000 SF
2017

The Student Union was at one time the thriving heart of Pratt's renowned Brooklyn campus.  For the last 20 years, the proud 1887 masonry structure has not been upgraded and its spaces were no longer relevant for an arts institution. In the spirit of revitalizing this once loved student center, MAD was retained in order to redefine and reinvigorate the 11,000 sf building with a loosely assigned program intended to house student government activities and a multi-purpose space for 200 persons.

The project (currently under construction) provides three interconnected levels of open spaces that will encourage students to use this building as a key circulation corridor due to its central campus location. By offering meeting rooms, lounges and other related programs, unexpected interactions and informal meetings will improve student life and enhance the academic experience.

A large stepped platform acts as a natural piazza and creates more intimate spaces around its perimeter, offering relaxing areas for those who seek a more discreet experience.  The building's systems are to be completely new and its entry is being relocated and featured at a more historically appropriate location, enhanced by a custom canopy and vestibule. The project focuses on highlighting DESIGN (in keeping with the school's academic core) and finishes are carefully selected to include sustainable materials and locally manufactured products where possible. This is a new Student Union that inspires and reflects on the values of this Brooklyn institution.