The Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and a committee of Philosophy Professors collaborated in the selection of Steven Holl Architects to design the complete interior renovation of an 1890 corner building at 5 Washington Place for the consolidation of the New York University Department of Philosophy within a concept which organizes the new spaces around light and phenomenal properties of materials. A new stair shaft below a new skylight joins the 6-level building vertically with a shifting porosity of light and shadow that change seasonally. Prismatic film was installed on the south-facing stairwell windows which occasionally break the sunlight into a prismatic rainbow. The Ground level, utilized by the entire University, contains a new curvilinear wooden auditorium on a cork floor. The upper level floors contain Faculty Offices and Seminar Rooms which are done in different shades and textures of black & white, according to the texts in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s book ‘Remarks on Colour’. The building exists within the NoHo Historic District and is within the jurisdiction of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The building is part of the main NYU campus within New York City’s Greenwich Village and is sited on access to Washington Square Park.
Majority of existing windows replaced with new all-wood window sized frames to provide a tighter and more efficient weather-sealE-coating on new window glass limits passage of heatRenewable cork floors prevent dust to improve air qualityWood obtained from sustainably managed forests and certified for compliance with the Sustainable Forestry InitiativeWood cores certified for recycled content and recovered wood productMetal shelving composed of 80-90 percent recycled steal content and finished with power-coat paints that emit no VOC