New Home, New Masters for CUNYs School of Architecture
Traditionally, in the architectural profession,
earning a Masters of Architecture has been the crucial key
to gaining entry into the upper echelons of the design spectrum,
says prominent New York City architect George Ranalli.
That New York City will soon have its very first M. Arch. program
at a public institution particularly pleases Ranalli because he
is also Dean of the CUNY School of Architecture at City College.
(There is one other public M. Arch program in the state, at SUNY
With the final approval of the State Board
of Regents accomplished and the search for a director of graduate
studies well under way, the official announcement of applications
for a CUNY Masters of Architecture degree program is
now being planned. The inaugural class will consist of between 20
and 25 students. Word of mouth has already spread the news, and
Ranalli says more than 120 letters of inquiry have already been
received concerning entry into the three-year course of study. A
fast-track Masters for students who earned bachelors
degrees in architecture will also be offered by the School.
|School of Architecture
Also causing pleasurable anticipation among the Schools faculty
and students is the prospect of moving into a handsome new home.
Though its current campus home, Shepard Hall, is appropriately grand
and architecturally distinguished, the facilities within are outdated
and in need of major upgrading.
At the request of CUNYs Office of Facilities, Planning and
Management, the Board of Trustees approved a feasibility study by
the distinguished firm of Raphael Vinoly Architects, P.C. The firm
was asked to weigh the option of renovating the then mostly vacant
former CCNY Library building. Vinoly recommended that the School
of Architecture move into the former Library, also known as the
Y Building, a few blocks south of Shepard Hall, near
the intersection of 135th Street and Convent Avenue. Late in 1999,
the Trustees approved the proposal and a budget of nearly $30 million
for the complete facade rehabilitation and interior renovation of
the Y Building, which will contain a total of about
115,000 sq. ft. of space.
Notable among the features of the Schools new home are an
open central atrium that looks down on an exhibition space on the
first floor of nearly 7,000 sq. ft. The second floor will be devoted
entirely to design studios/workshops, space for critiques, and a
student lounge. The building, it is now hoped, will be ready for
occupancy in 2005.