Milstein Hall receives top award from the American Institute of Architects

January 19, 2013

Milstein Hall received one of the highest recognitions in the architecture profession when the American Institute of Architects announced on January 14 that the 47,000-square-foot building with its unique cantilever design had been selected as a recipient of its prestigious honor award.

The addition to the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, designed by OMA, was among 11 buildings in the United States and Canada that received 2013 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. The recipients included The Barnes Foundation, the new museum for the legendary Barnes Collection in Philadelphia, and The New York Public Library, which recently underwent a $50 million exterior restoration.

The AIA, the Washington, DC-based professional organization, selected a total of 28 recipients for its 2013 awards in three categories — architecture, interior architecture, and regional and urban design — from among 700 submissions. The recipients were chosen through an extensive process that entailed a jury review and site visits.

In its comments, the jury said that Milstein Hall, with its floor-to-ceiling glass facades, has made the AAP "far more visually accessible" on the Cornell campus. "A powerful parti with emphasis on transparency places the entire design school on display to the campus in largely successful ways," the jury said.

The connection Milstein has created between Sibley and Rand halls, along with the relocation of the design library, "have enhanced communication between student cohorts within the college," the jury added. It also praised "the exposed systems and relaxed ambiance" of the studio space in the building's cantilevered section, noting that they "tolerate and celebrate the creative clutter created by the students."

Kent Kleinman, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of AAP, was pleased that the AIA had recognized Milstein Hall’s innovative design. "We're delighted that Milstein Hall has received this high honor," he says. “It is gratifying to all who worked so hard on this project to have the effort validated by this national jury.”

In addition to the 2013 AIA Honors Award, Milstein Hall was selected as the 2011 ArchDaily Educational Building of the Year and received a 2012 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award.

By Sherrie Negrea

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