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At the northern edge of Cornell University’s Arts Quad, the Foundry is the only surviving vestige of a historical engineering building on Ithaca’s Fall Creek Gorge. Our approach to its renovation embraces the building’s past, evoking its original metalworking function with new metal insertions, while creatively updating it to meet the requirements of contemporary art production. The Foundry received a complete upgrade of its MEP systems, to comply with Ithaca’s Energy Code, the most stringent regulation in the country, and Cornell’s Climate Action Plan, which targets even higher sustainability levels.

The Foundry was reorganized to create distinct teaching environments for MFA and undergraduate sculpture students. Enlarged MFA studios connect to sculpture classrooms on one end and a flexible exhibition space on the other end, via a daylit central corridor that doubles as an informal pin-up site.

Client: Cornell University
Location: Ithaca, NY
Status: Completed (2021-23)
Sq Footage: 8,000sf
Program: Renovation of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) individual studios, flexible exhibition space, expansion of existing sculpture classroom, and addition of one sculpture classroom (Jack Squier Sculpture Studio)
Environmental: Ithaca Energy Code

Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Jason Kim, Suemin Jeon | Paul Mok, Julio Picatoste

Collaborators: Structure: Silman | MEP/FP/Lighting: M/E Engineering | Cost Estimation: Trophy Point

Photography: Michael Moran