“The Tata Innovation Center will become a hub for New York’s tech sector and a global icon for how academia and industry can collaborate to leverage technology for the greater good,” said Cornell President Martha E. Pollack.
In a first-of-its-kind building, the Tata Innovation Center supports Cornell Tech’s aspiration to fuse entrepreneurial and academic ambitions at the heart of New York City’s growing tech sector. Deviating from a typical sprawling campus found in technology districts, the design concentrates a dense hub of activity into one 235,000-square-foot building dubbed “The Bridge”.
Paladino was engaged by Forest City in 2014 to contribute to the concept and strategy development and to support the project’s green building program. Planning was facilitated through an eco-charrette that directed green design recommendations such as low emitting materials, energy efficiency strategies, lighting strategies, and student/entrepreneur engagement.
The geometry of “The Bridge” is shaped to ensure that all occupants can enjoy natural daylight, thereby reducing the need for artificial lighting—the highest consumer of energy for most buildings.
Although the building’s crystalline exterior appears to be completely transparent, the enclosure is actually 60 percent opaque and 40 percent transparent—a ratio considered to be the “sweet spot” for sustainable design.
The curtain wall is comprised of thermally efficient, transparent units and highly insulated opaque shadow box units. Together, they appear as a continuous surface using a subtle reflective glass coating which reduces heat gain and contributes to energy efficiency. The chameleon-like façade captures fluctuating light conditions, reflects the surrounding urban landscape, and reveals panoramic skyline views of Manhattan and Queens.
Anticipating environmental challenges such as rising sea levels and increased flood risk, the building is designed for maximum climate resilience with an entry floor that rises seven feet above the 100-year flood plain. A canopy featuring 24,000 square feet of solar panels shelters the building’s landscaped roof terrace and defines its silhouette, also contributing to the campus-wide energy supply and Bloomberg Center’s net-zero goal.
The project exceeded its LEED Silver target and achieved certification in 2019. The project integrated the tech communities, creating a symbiotic environment where students, academics, and businesses can create and commercialize new ideas.