SUNY Studio West
Prominently located at a main campus entrance, Studio West was a nondescript brick and metal panel building that made a weak first impression for visitors to SUNY Cortland. Originally built as a manufacturing facility in the 1940s, the building was disorganized and lacked clear wayfinding. KSS Architects designed a renovation and addition to transform the facility into an iconic, state-of-the-art campus building that gives the School of Professional Studies an identity.
Faced with a tight budget, the project team designed an exterior renovation that envelops the existing building in a new image that is simple to build, but completely transformative. The design minimizes significant interventions by adding a series of garden walls, entry canopies, and screens to create an architectural vocabulary that the new addition continues. The addition and existing building are set apart to enhance scale and create opportunities for daylight and outdoor space.
The design also simplifies circulation, creating distinct areas for the school’s departments. Light wells provide natural light at the building’s center. The north entrance has become the main academic entry while the addition provides a public entrance to a clinic.