Posted: January 2, 2019 | Projects
Located in Jersey City just minutes from New York City, New Jersey City University (NJCU) is situated within a vibrant urban areas.
Photo Courtesy of Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.
Fully accredited, the University offers 43 undergraduate degree programs, 29 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs, including emerging and interdisciplinary fields.
NJCU delivers a robust science program encompassing physics, biology, chemistry, and geosciences. As the demand for these programs has grown, the existing five-story building was not keeping pace. Creating a science centerpiece for the campus, a facility that would deliver excitement, modern lab and learning spaces, and engage the program with the campus was a priority.
Spiezle Architectural Group was commissioned to renovate and modernize the 78,000-square-foot building, as well as enhance the space to match the modern learning and program opportunities emerging at NJCU. An expansion of 22,000 square feet of space was added, providing technological and environmental enhancements demanded by the physical science curriculum that were not possible within the existing structure.
The University tasked the firm with transforming the building into an open, collaborative, inspirational facility where students could engage broadly with the sciences, learning, research, and teaching in new and exciting ways; to put science on display for the campus and the community at large. “The building was turned inside out to showcase to the campus community what was happening inside,” said John Wright, Associate Principal at Spiezle.
Designed to LEED® Silver standards by Spiezle, the upgraded facility includes multipurpose classrooms, seminar and conference rooms, 45 modern teaching and research laboratories, faculty offices, computer labs, and equipment and instrumentation rooms.
But more than just places for science to happen, the character of the space was re-imagined to include ways for students, faculty, and the broader University community to not just study, but to engage and collaborate around scientific exploration and learning. Informal learning nodes, socially interactive and mobile furniture, informal and flexible space deliver social learning opportunities that were just not present in the original building.
Views, circulation, lighting, energy efficiency and acoustics were all reborn to enhance overall environmental comfort. Spiezle and the team at NJCU developed a creative color palette, and placements of orange and red blended with neutrals and varied shades to make the space brighter, more vibrant, and inviting.
A new five-story glass façade delivers natural light into classrooms and lab spaces that are now located in the front of the building and put on display. An extensive and interactive programming process delivered the detail around differences that were embodied in chemistry, physics, biology, and geoscience labs, each delivering on the unique needs of their programs.
Also, space for science needs to engage beyond the lab into the world as well, so Spiezle designed a rooftop greenhouse biology lab and an astronomy deck to enhance delivery of curriculum offerings across the spectrum.
Great designs need to be realized, even on an active campus site, so Spiezle designed a construction process that occurred in two distinct phases, staging occupancy and new
Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc
1395 yardville Hamilton Road, #2A
Hamilton, NJ 08691
Harrison Hamnett, P.C.
40 Knowles Street
Pennington, NJ 08534
Mechnical & Electrical Engineer
101 Grovers Mill Road
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
494 Borad Street, Fl 14
Newark, NJ 07102
Cambridge Construction Management, Inc.
97 Grayrock Road
Clinton, NJ 08809
30 Galesi Drive, #202A
Wayne, NJ 07470
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Date Bid: Jun 2015
Construction Period: Jan 2016 to Jan 2018
Total Square Feet: 111,459
Site: 1 acre
Number of Buildings: One; 32 classrooms
Building Sizes: First floor, 21,544; second floor, 21,544; third floor, 21,544; fourth floor, 21,544; fifth floor, 18,200; penthouse, 7,083; total, 111,459 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 14'; second floor, 14'; third fllor, 14'; fourth floor, 14'; fifth floor, 14'; penthouse, 14'; total, 82'.
Basic Construction Type: Addition/Renovation
Foundation: Cast-in-place, piles
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtain wall, metal panel.
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall