Cornell University, Tatkon Center, Balch Hall

Ithaca, New York

  • FIRM

    HOLT Architects, PC


    Cornell University, Planning, Design & Construction, and Campus Life

  • AREA

    8,350 sq.ft.





The Tatkon Center in Cornell’s Balch Hall is part of the university’s first-year program and serves as a gateway for freshman living on North Campus.

Balch is a 1920s bluestone building that features details such as marble-mantled fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling paneling. The Tatkon Center now occupies a large part of the first floor, which previously was a ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$119.00FEATURED IN2004 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYStudent Centers/Service Areas hall. The existing spaces were consolidated and reconfigured to include lounges, a cafe with Internet bar, offices, two seminar rooms with AVE equipment, and a wired lecture room.

Because the center is intended to provide a supportive environment for students acclimating to life at a large university, the spaces are designed to be comfortable and inviting. They also encourage informal interaction among students, as well as among students and faculty. Warm, rich colors and student-friendly furnishings blend with the building’s existing details, and provide a relaxing and non-institutional atmosphere. In order to maintain the building’s old-world character, extensive renovation of existing finishings was necessary. Careful attention was given to creating new finishes to complement the old.