The Student Center at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., forms a gateway to the campus and the eastern edge of a new quadrangle. From the ground-floor entry, a strong diagonal axis pulls visitors toward a ceremonial stair that leads to the quadrangle level and focuses on the view to the tower of historic Reid Castle. The diagonal stair penetrates the west wall of COST PER SQ FT$310.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio building in a glass cube, which allows daylight to illuminate the ground floor.
The center supports interdisciplinary activity, with spaces for performing arts, creative arts, student clubs, dance and fitness. The main-floor art gallery and student lounge, an extension of the quad, are flooded with natural light. Most public spaces have views to the new quadrangle and the heart of the campus. The building is permeable so that students participating in a variety of activities can see and be seen.
The student center has been awarded LEED gold certification. Solar collectors generate 13 percent of the building’s electricity. The building requires only 48 percent of the total energy needed by a conventional building of the same size.