The House at Cornell Tech
Field Condition, Pavel Bendov, Max Touhey

The House at Cornell Tech

Handel Architects as Architects

The House is part of Cornell Tech's new 2.1 million square foot technology campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The building is designed to reinforce the unique model of academic integration, multi-disciplinary research, and collaboration at the core of the Cornell Tech mission. It serves as a lively and comfortable living place for informal social interactions between students and faculty while they reside on campus.


The Cornell Tech campus itself is a ground-breaking concept, combining the innovative capacity of Silicone Valley with the financial power of Wall Street to help strengthen and transform the city's economy. The House, the residential component of the campus, was designed to Passive House standards, which drastically reduces energy consumption while creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment for a fraction of residents’ usual energy costs.


The House is the largest and tallest residential building in the world built to Passive House standards.The building’s exterior shimmers, using a state-of-the-art, color-changing paint that, when reflecting light, naturally shifts color from silver to warm champagne. The façade, constructed of a prefabricated metal panel system, acts as a thermally insulated blanket wrapping the building structure. The wrap ends in a louver system that extends the entire height of the building. This reveal is designed to be the “gills” of the building, providing an enclosed, louvered exterior space where the heating and cooling equipment live, allowing the building systems to breathe.

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