In spring 2006, as part of a campuswide capital priorities study, St. John’s University identified the need for two new buildings: a student center and a general academic building. Despite the potential risks in merging the needs of these types of buildings into one, economic realities led the university to combine the concepts into a COST PER SQ FT$500.00FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio structure. The D’Angelo Center, which opened in December 2009, is a unique building that is an around-the-clock home for both academics and student life.
The D’Angelo Center is the latest addition to St. John’s Queens campus, which has a variety of important buildings dating from the 1950s. The architect used a combination of brick, granite and cast stone to complement the older buildings and convey a sense of permanence. Modern detailing expresses the forward-looking nature of the new building and the educational activities within. Interior brick unites inside and outside, and creates a warm, durable indoor finish.
Careful planning enabled the mix of academics and student life to work together to create a vibrant educational environment. A variety of classroom types allows for different teaching approaches and more scheduling freedom. These combine with multi-function, social and study spaces to enable informal interactions among faculty and students. Technology, including wireless access, is pervasive but economical, and not too complex.
An inclusive design process included consultation from students, faculty and administrators, resulting in a building that speaks to the mission and traditions of the university.