Campus Commons, SUNY at New Paltz

SUNY Campus Commons at New Paltz

The State University of New York (SUNY) Campus Commons addition in New Paltz is a centerpiece for the school's audacious program. Designed by ikon.5 architects , the glass and metal "crystalline palisade" was "grown" on the plinth of an existing concrete building. The new construction is designed for LEED Silver certification, incorporating radiant heating and cooling, photo-optic lighting controls, and substantial natural day lighting and views.

Photo of The ikon.5 architects (pictured) designed SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building

The ikon.5 architects-designed SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Photo of View of the Star Blue™ copper panels through the interior of SUNY New Paltz Student Union BuildingPhoto of Star Blue™ (pictured)  copper panels at SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building

 

Side-view of the Star Blue™ copper panels at SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Photo of Star Blue™ copper panels at SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building

Star Blue™ copper panels at SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Detail photo of the Star Blue™ copper panels at SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building (pictured)

Detail of the Star Blue™ copper panels at SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Aged Aesthetics with Preweathered Copper-Alloys

The muted turquoise surface is made using a pure copper alloy, preweathered and patinated (the process of developing a patina on metal) using a proprietary process developed by Zahner. The process results in an insoluble protective patina on the copper panel's surface, variegated and eccentric.

The patinated copper surface was chosen by the architects because of the color’s association to nature and how it complements the glass shard. Zahner provided the sheets to local fabricators to create the flat-lock seam.

The architects were already working with a manufacturer to fabricate the metal panel system, so the Zahner team supplied pre-patinated flat copper sheet and had a local team produce the panel system.

Creating an Architectural Identity

The new design references the surrounding landscape of the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills. The building's form was inspired by the nearby Shawangunk palisade, and its jade hue influenced by the Wallkill River's muted blues.

The building also takes notes from the surrounding campus architecture. While the expanded student center stands in stark contrast to the neutral-toned concrete and brick buildings nearby, its angled roof continues the upward trajectory of an adjacent building's ascending staircase. This attention to the building's immediate context gives the new construction an integrated appeal, all-the-while maintaining its contemporary aesthetics.

Photograph of the Shawangunk palisade alongside painting by ikon.5 Architects

Photograph of the Shawangunk palisade alongside painting by ikon.5 architects.
Photo © ikon.5 architects.

The new building's profile matches the upward accent of the original building's staircase.

The new building's profile matches the upward accent of the original building's staircase.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

The new building's design has become a symbol for SUNY New Paltz, whose logo now incorporates the glass and metal pyramid. The exposed and triangulated framing underneath the glass zigzags across its fractal silhouette. Reflecting this exposed framing is the outdoor seating with its contemporary wireframe where students can enjoy the fresh air and sun while studying.

Photo of exterior glass facade of the SUNY New Paltz (pictured) Facade

Exterior glass facade of the SUNY New Paltz Facade.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Photo detail of the exterior glass facade (pictured) of the SUNY New Paltz Facade

Detail of the exterior glass facade of the SUNY New Paltz Facade.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Copper and glass facade of the SUNY New Paltz Facade (pictured).

Copper and glass facade of the SUNY New Paltz Facade.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

Photo of SUNY New Paltz Facade

Detail of the copper and glass facade of the SUNY New Paltz Facade.
Photo © A. Zahner Company.

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