Gates Hall

10 07 2008

Okay, so in my observations of Cornell and local construction ,there is one thing that continues to be just a bit bothersome; two and a half years after it was announced [1],  there has not been one single rendering of Gates Hall. So, let’s review what we do know.

1)The building is meant to house the Dept. of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS). Gates is allowed to name it because he’s forking over half the expected construction cost (plus, the guy gets around around- UW and Stanford have Gates Halls as well).

From the article: “According to Kenneth Birman, professor of computer science and chair of the CIS building committee, the information campus project is still in the feasibility study stage. Gates Hall is estimated at 100,000 square feet and projected to cost about $50 million.”

2) So, now we know it’s supposed to be about 100,000 square feet. For comparison, Duffield’s gross area is about 150,000 sq. ft. [2]. Further investigation of the facilities website indicates that the architect will be Polshek Architects [3].

3) A review of Polshek’s firm shows some of their previous work:

Polshek Work 1 

Basically, it’s a firm that likes glassy, boxy designs.

4) Lastly, from the Master Plan, we see that CIS is behind Thurston, but there’s two buildings, and it’s a little confusing to tell which is Gates, since they are both listed as “in progress”.

My conclusion: Expect Gates to have a foot ptint between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet, 2-4 floors in height, with a boxy, glassy design not too unlike the Beck Center behind Statler Hall.







4 responses

10 07 2008
Matthew Nagowski '05

Great website!

You can follow along with the progress of Gates Hall here:

And it’s evidently still in the ‘Concept Phase’. So I take that to mean that the University is still trying to raise more money for it.

11 07 2008

Thanks for your input! I’ll definitely keep an eye on that site.

At the rate Cornell raises money, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced sufficient funding for construction within 12 to 18 months.

11 07 2008
Nate Beach-Westmoreland '07

Congratulations on your new blog. I just found it via MetaEzra and it looks great.

As an amateur Cornell historian, it always delights me to find others who are interested in our school and, in particular, its architecture. If you have any questions about Cornell’s history or architecture, I’d be glad to put in my two cents.

31 10 2014
Cornell Updates Upson Hall | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] recession, and that individual proposal was never revived. Similarly, early Gates Hall plans had a building site just south of Thurston, facing the gorge. Currently, work is underway to renovate Kimball Hall, with a summer 2015 […]

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