500 Building Project Final Review

News

Architecture Students Reimagine the 500 Building

June 1, 2018

Pictured: Winning team Arkadiusz Chrobac, Luis Bruni, and Santiago Molina found inspiration in nature for their design of the 500 Building. The exterior of the building is inspired by a leaf. The interior would feature a pavilion bringing the indoors in with dedicated spaces to plant trees.

Seniors in the bachelor of architecture program officially graduated on May 22, 2018, but their legacy has a chance to live on at NYIT in the form of a redesign of the 500 Building on the Old Westbury campus, the home of the School of Health Professions.

The idea to have architecture students take on the project started as a casual conversation between Sheldon Fields, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of NYIT School of Health Professions, and Maria R. Perbellini, M.Arch., dean of NYIT School of Architecture and Design, over lunch. This year, select architecture students explored the idea further as part of their senior thesis projects.

Re-envisioning the building has been one of Fields’ main goals since he joined NYIT in 2017; it is now a focal point of the university’s strategic plan under NYIT President Hank Foley, Ph.D.

View slideshow and read more below.

Beginning in the fall 2017 semester, the architecture students worked with their classmates in the School of Health Professions to design a building that would suit their needs. This was the first time many of the young architects worked with a client.

On May 14, the students presented their final projects and three winners were announced.

Winning individuals from Robert Cody’s studio:

  • Hannah Mapoy (B.Arch. ’18)
  • Waisuddin Azizi (B.Arch. ’18)

Winning team from Giuseppe Fallacara’s studio:

  • Arkadiusz Chrobac (B.Arch. ’18), Luis Bruni (B.Arch. ’18), and Santiago Molina (B.Arch. ’18)

“It was a different experience than what I’m used to in my previous years in my design studio classes, but definitely worth the challenge,” said Hannah Mapoy (B.Arch. ’18), one of three winners. “This experience was unforgettable without a doubt. With the guidance and knowledge of my thesis professor Robert Cody, I learned a lot throughout this creative process that will prepare me for what’s to come in my future career.”

“Our students helped the School of Health Professions to envision a new future home through an exciting, experiential design process,” said Perbellini. “It was amazing to see how professionally the students took on the projects across multiple design phases, from research, conceptual, and schematic design to 3-D modeling and finalization of spaces, building systems, and components.”

The students in the studios of Robert Cody, interim associate dean, thesis coordinator, and adjunct associate professor, and Giuseppe Fallacara, visiting professor, took various approaches in their design concepts. Many found inspiration in nature and looked for ways to entwine the campus landscape and the new building by incorporating open spaces and large windows that allow for lots of light. Others looked at technology and how it can be used to create interactive learning environments inside the building.

“I’m incredibly blown away,” Fields said during the final review. “What started as an idea has now pushed the whole campus into a different phase.”

Watch Dean Sheldon Fields, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and Dean Maria R. Perbellini, M.Arch., talk about the 500 Building Project.