At the juncture of NJIT’s campus of quads on an urban edge in downtown Newark, the Central King Building establishes the Institute’s new public face to the city. Made up of two individual volumes, a 1912 former High School and a 1970s addition, the renovation of this building into an Academic Center will reconnect the school to the city through a transformation of its brutal façade. The program proposes to restore and alter the 1912 building envelope to create dramatic physical and visual connections from the campus into the grand landmark.
The centerpiece of the project is a Center for Innovation and Discovery. As a central place, it is accessible to students and visitors alike, where exhibit, production and presentation spaces are organized to encourage cross-pollination of ideas. High tech classrooms, instructional labs and studios are designed on a flexible model, able to accommodate moderated discussions, lecture formats or small group collaboration and study. An 800-seat auditorium will be renovated, while the existing gym and pool will be repurposed as academic spaces. With social components tied to teaching, research and study, the new Academic Center will act as a counterpoint to the Student Center.