Pratt Institute
Student Union
Brooklyn, NY
11,000 SF
2018

The Student Union sits at the heart of Pratt's renowned and historic Brooklyn campus.  The proud 1887 masonry structure was in need of a complete infrastructure upgrade along with meeting the goal of being a proper student center.  When originally built, the building had a suspended running track at the perimeter of the large volume.  Inspired by this track and its gestural motion, MAD proposed three grey curves adding movement to the space and recalling the history of the building.  As we developed the plan, the curves assisted in secluding a new elevator volume and offered us opportunities to make spaces and address circulation.

The project provides three interconnected levels of open spaces that 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 can 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 were completely renewed and its entry was relocated to be featured at a more historically appropriate location, enhanced by a custom canopy and vestibule.