Pratt Institute, Myrtle Hall
Brooklyn, New York
Myrtle Hall, named for the busy neighborhood street on which it fronts, offered the Pratt Institute a unique opportunity to create an architectural connection between campus and community. think! was tasked with designing a highly complex contextual building intended to relate comfortably to both Myrtle Avenue, lined with its low late 19th and early 20th Century brick buildings to the north and to the collection of somewhat more eclectic academic buildings on the historic Pratt campus to the south.
To reconcile these two distinct contexts, think! designed the new facility as a transition balancing a louvered glass curtain-wall on the south façade, forming a welcoming and open gesture toward the main campus, with a panelized brick masonry wall on the north-side serving as a modern-day interpretation of the avenue’s more modest mercantile buildings. To further the connection, a four story glazed atrium was created as a visual link between the building’s two major sides which also function as a gallery for student work, visible from the street, further breaking down barriers between the institution and its neighbors.
The new seven story building has allowed for the expansion of the school’s Department of Digital Arts program and a new Digital Arts Lab, as well as the creation of a central location for integrated Student Services including Admissions, Financial Aid, Bursar, and Registrar. At 120,000 square feet, Myrtle Hall is the institute’s most ambitious new building project to date and has allowed for significant improvement and re-allocation of space in Pratt’s other academic buildings.
think! was also tasked with designing an environmentally responsible building consistent with Pratt’s campus-wide commitment to sustainability. Utilizing a combination of high-tech and low-tech strategies [including green roofs and photo voltaic technology], Myrtle Hall became the first institutional building in Brooklyn to receive LEED Gold certification.