a man sitting at a computer in a long white room

Students attending the AAP NYC program have access to generous studio space at the Gensler Family AAP NYC Center located at 26 Broadway in Manhattan William Staffeld / AAP


In early January 2021, the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning received a $10 million endowment from M. Arthur Gensler and his family to support the future of the college's thriving New York City-based program, AAP NYC. The gift names the Gensler Family AAP NYC Center located on the 20th floor of the historic Standard Oil building at 26 Broadway in Manhattan. 

The Gensler family's generosity and support see that this cornerstone program cofounded by Art Gensler will continue to strengthen AAP's commitment to engagement with the urban built environment. Their gift ensures that the education of the next generation of architects, artists, and planners remains grounded in experiences that enable them to make a deep and lasting impact on our communities, cities, and the world.

Please read more about this gift in the Cornell Chronicle.

Program Information

AAP's program at the Gensler Family AAP NYC Center (AAP NYC) offers AAP students a unique opportunity to live and study in New York City, one of the most vital urban centers in the world for one semester. Enriched by field trips and social and professional networking opportunities, the undergraduate and graduate student semester in New York City plays a key role in a Cornell education.

Programming at the center offers a full roster of classes enriched by New York City's unique artistic, historical, and cultural resources and by AAP's extensive alumni network of noted metropolitan professionals, who frequently teach and serve as guest critics and mentors.

Study at AAP NYC is an option for bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.), undergraduate urban and regional studies (B.S. URS), master of regional planning (M.R.P.), and master of landscape (M.L.A.) students, and mandatory for professional master of architecture (M.Arch.) and post-professional master of science in advanced architectural design (M.S. AAD) students.

  • B.Arch. Semester

    AAP NYC provides the opportunity for bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.) students to study, work, and live in one of the world's most dynamic urban contexts. The B.Arch. program enables students to build on core curricular foundations using the city as a classroom and work with top-notch guest faculty and critics from the metro area.

    The semester-long study option in New York City is available to fourth- and fifth-year B.Arch. students through a competitive application process.

    B.Arch. students may opt for a two-day per week internship at a prestigious Manhattan firm, in addition to their classwork, giving them a chance to build work experience and experience the day-to-day operations of an urban firm.

    student presenting materials pinned to a wall to a group of students and reviewers

    B.Arch. reviews for Design Studio: Re-envisioning the Brooklyn Bridge with Visiting Critic Craig Dykers. William Staffeld / AAP

    Required Classes

    ARCH 4101 Design VII or 4102 Design VIII or ARCH 5101 Design Xi 

    Advanced programs in architectural design, with options in, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.

    ARCH 5201 Professional Practice 

    Examination of organizational and management theories and practices for delivering professional design services. Includes a historic overview of the profession and a review of the architect's responsibilities from the pre-contract phase through cost estimating and specifications to construction. Application of computer technology in preparing specifications.

    These two classes are complemented by electives for a total of 15–18 credits.

  • M.Arch. Semester

    Students in their fourth semester in Cornell AAP's professional Master of Architecture program study at the center where they enroll in a variety of classes that draw from the extraordinary architectural resources of New York City. The program is available only during the spring semester.

    student working with glue and wood in a studio

    M.Arch. students working in studio. William Staffeld / AAP

    Required Classes

    ARCH 5114 Core Design Studios IV: Integrative Design Practices

    This class focuses on the development of architectural ideas in constructed, material form. The studio explores emergent topics and constructive methods in contemporary architectural practice. Design study includes the creation of a comprehensive set of representations that describe an architectural project in detail. Students work in collaborative groups and in consultation with advisors drawn from professional practice to develop a project that engages a complex range of topical areas, including structural and environmental systems, building envelope systems, materiality and construction, life-safety planning, and sustainability.

    ARCH 5201 Professional practice

    Examination of organizational and management theories and practices for delivering professional design services is the focus of this class. Included is a historic overview of the profession and a review of the architect's responsibilities from the pre-contract phase through cost estimating and specifications to construction. Application of computer technology in preparing specifications is also covered.

    ARCH 5615 building technology II: structural elements

    Concepts and procedures for design, manufacturing, and construction in steel, concrete, masonry, timber, and new materials supplemented by examples and case studies. Taught concurrently with the integrative design studio, this class will also include field trips to construction sites, recently completed buildings, and/or fabrication shops/labs, in order to understand and design the integration of elements in both contemporary and emerging construction and fabrication.

    ARCH 5616 Environmental Systems II: Building Dynamics

    This class examines the design and analysis of the building envelope, with a focus on the material and energetic transformations taking place at the boundary between architecture and environment. Topics include comfort, building thermodynamics, envelope assemblies, thermal modeling, active and passive control systems, daylighting, and architectural acoustics. 

    These four required classes are complemented by electives for a total of 18 credits.

  • B.S. URS/M.R.P./M.L.A. Semester

    The semester at AAP NYC offers master of regional planning (M.R.P.), undergraduate urban and regional studies (B.S. URS), and master of landscape architecture (M.L.A.) students the opportunity to explore planning issues in the dynamic urban context of New York City, and to apply their learning and ideas to specific projects and sites. Academically, the semester is composed of an urban design studio, an urban planning workshop, a professional colloquium, and an elective. The AAP NYC planning program is offered in the fall for students in their second year of graduate study, or third or fourth year of undergraduate study, through a competitive application process.

    Students may opt for a two-day per week internship from a wide range of options available in New York City.

    students working in front of two computer screens

    Visiting Critic Jacob Dugopolski working with a student during the fall urban design studio. photo / provided

    Required Classes

    CRP 5172 NYC Workshop: Land Use, Environmental Planning, and Design

    This workshop examines the evolving structure of New York City and the way large-scale developments have influenced its form, patterns of growth, opportunities for economic development, value creation, and investment. The course work and related tours examine the historical forces that have influenced New York City, including models of urban analysis, contemporary theories of urban design, environmental impact analysis, and implementation strategies used in redevelopment projects. Other American and international cities will be used as comparisons.

    CRP 5173 Integrated Urbanism as a Platform for Engagement

    This studio will dive deep into the complex balance between architecture and urbanism, policy and public housing, focusing in particular on the campus of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property.

    CRP 5174 NYC Colloquium: Professional Practice

    This class examines the critical work of selected Cornell alumni from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, specifically from the Department of City and Regional Planning and also from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The class explores the career trajectory development of alumni, and in some cases, their transitions into other professions as attorneys, educators, advocates, real estate developers, or organizational consultants. 

    In addition to these three required classes, M.R.P. students are expected to enroll in the appropriate exit project research class (CRP 8901, 8903, or 8905) with their advisor. The optional internship may serve as the foundation for the exit project. 

  • M.S. AAD Summer Semester
    instructor and faculty in front of a screen

    Summer semester students presented their work to Matthew Bannister, founder and CEO of DBOX, at his New York City studios. William Staffeld / AAP

    New York City is an urban laboratory for the first semester of Cornell's advanced design research program, the post-professional master of science in advanced architectural design (M.S. AAD). The program makes full use of the city's intellectual and creative resources, as well as its dilemmas and challenges, to introduce students to terms, techniques, and problems of contemporary design inquiry. The intensive eight-week curriculum comprises a design studio and parallel theory seminar, and an advanced digital media class. The studio and seminar are structured to offer an overview of the program's four territories of investigation (TI): 

    • A+D: Architecture and Discourse
    • A+E: Architecture and Ecology 
    • A+R: Architecture and Representation
    • A+U: Architecture and Urbanism 

    Upon completion of a New York City semester at the center, students commit to one TI to define an individual trajectory of study for the subsequent two semesters on the Ithaca campus.

    The M.S. AAD semester at the center offers students the opportunity to work with distinguished designers and thinkers drawn both from New York City and from Cornell's Ithaca campus. The semester's formal classwork on and in the city is complemented by a series of weekend, on-site studies of New York City's fabrics, landmarks, and ecologies.

    Required Classes

    Arch 7111 Design A

    Exploration of themes, methods, and technologies in contemporary design.

    ARCh 6110 Graduate Design Seminar

    ARCH 6301 Design Research

    Introduction to themes of inquiry in contemporary architecture, including critical motives in research, topical "problems," and materials and tactics of investigation.


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