Upson Hall


  • Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY
    Completed 2017
    160,000 sq. ft.

    How can the gut renovation of a 1950’s concrete-framed building set a campus standard for energy efficiency while establishing a new, open and transparent image for an engineering school? How can a custom and high-tuned façade be made from traditional and durable materials? These were the challenges that the interdisciplinary team of LTL Architects, Perkins+Will, Thornton Tomasetti and ME Engineers addressed in the renewal of Upson Hall. The new 1’-6” façade transforms the ribbon-window modernist educational building into a contemporary, energy efficient and flexible research laboratory. 3 different terracotta profiles change from the lower floors to upper floors to accentuate shadow patterns and reflect the stratified rock of the local geology. Yellow vertical panels reference the original façade color, while white angled jambs and sills maximize daylight reflection into the interior. Larger expanses of glass are reserved for the new cantilevered public spaces at the corners, inviting the campus into the interior. In re-purposing a post-WWII building, the Upson Hall project transforms a work of international modernism into a highly tuned, site specific building, as part of the rejuvenation of the Engineering Quadrangle.
  • Project Credits
    LTL Project Team: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Clark Manning, Project Manager; Chao Lun Wang, Debbie Chen
    Architects: LTL Architects and Perkins+Will
    Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
    Facade Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
    MEP FP: ME Engineers
    Lighting Consultant: Lumen Architecture
    Landscape Architect: Trowbridge Wolf Michaels
    Civil Engineer: TG Miller PC
    AV / IT / Acoustics: The Sextant Group
    Code Consultant: Code Consultants Professional Engineers, PC
    Cost Estimator: Faithful + Gould
    General Contractor: The Pike Company
    Photography: Michael Moran/OTTO