Morphosis is an architectural firm in California which was founded in 1972 by Thom Mayne. Morphosis has to its credit worldwide projects which include educational, residential, commercial and huge urban projects. Morphosis is the result of a combined effort of more than 40 professionals, with each of them working simultaneously to give state of the art designs, which are not only unique but also innovative. They are not only specialists in designing buildings but also experts in designing unique furniture and various accessories and other functional objects. The firm has more than 50 awards to its credit and received many other honors.
The founder of this firm Thom Mayne did his Bachelors in Architecture from the University of South California and a Masters from the Harvard University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture was founded by him. Thom Mayne also won the Pritzker Architecture Prize for the year 2005, which is the topmost award in the field of architecture. Some of the other well known projects that the firm has worked on are the International Elementary School in Long Beach, California, the Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California, the Hypo Alpe-Adria Center in Klagenfurt, Austria and the Graduate House at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
The latest project that the firm is currently working on is the new academic building for the Cooper Union Colleges, in New York, which is going to house the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, and which is expected to be completed by 2008. All eyes are on this project, as the transparent façade of the building is already attracting a lot of people, and this is also supposed to be the first green academic building in New York.
The whole project will be coming up in a site area of 18,000 sq ft., and the project size was estimated to be around 180,000 sq ft. The building would include various facilities which include approximately 15,000 sq.ft of classrooms, 40,000 sq.ft of laboratories, 15,000 sq.ft of administrative and faculty offices, 4,000 sq.ft of centralized computer center other than a 200-seater auditorium, an exhibition gallery, lounge and multi purpose space, Art Teaching Studios and workspaces and student activity spaces.
The new building is visualized as a vertical element which has a semi-transparent façade that speaks clearly of the classrooms, laboratory and art studio spaces. The whole building is planned around a centrally located atrium, which goes all the way up to the height of the building. The whole building is connected with sky bridges and has many corridors with a clear view of the Foundation Building to the left.
The whole building is designed for energy efficiency, sustainability and environment friendly. The technology used to build the building will not only conserve energy but also increase its effectiveness. The semi-transparent screen used on the outside of the building, helps keep the interiors cool in summer and warm in winter.
The whole building is equipped with carbon dioxide detectors which can detect if the room is occupied or not, and will automatically dim the lights in those rooms which are not occupied, thus saving energy and electricity costs. The roof is also filled with greenery which does not require much maintenance, therefore keeping the building cool. The entire building is filled with lots of natural ventilation, which keeps the building airy and pleasant.
This building is a perfect example of modern contemporary architecture with all modern amenities including the label of the first green building in New York. This project is a good example of the excellent design methodology and creative thinking of the whole design team of Morphosis. All the above features of the Cooper Union building is evidence enough of the aesthetic and creative sense of Morphosis. The fact that the firm has received so many awards shows the respect people have towards good design and architecture.
New Academic Building, Cooper Union, Architecture-Page, 12 December 2007.
Green Features, The Cooper Union Builds, 12 December 2007,
American Institute of Architects Announces Two Firm of the Year Recipients; RATCLIFF and Morphosis Architectural Firms Take Top Honors, Find Articles, 12 December 2007, <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2005_Feb_5/ai_n9494791>.
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