St. Francis College

Brooklyn, NY

250,000 SF

A new vertical campus for SFC in the heart of Brooklyn promotes their mission of academic excellence, advancement of a thriving intellectual community and enabling the transition from student to citizen of the world.
St. Francis College relocated to a new space for their campus with the aspiration of enhancing their mission in a modern and cohesive environment.

The Switzer Group provided a refreshing and modern aesthetic for the college’s new home, capitalizing on the excellent views and referencing the industrial neighborhood. The overall design attains a great inclusivity with attention paid to cultural diversity and a range of student backgrounds.

The lobby is treated with terrazzo flooring and medium-tone woods with a decorative concrete veneer wall finish. The black marble and bronze reception desk sits in front of a porcelain tile backdrop, providing a more refined and welcoming space that also includes a gallery. An accent blue-stained concrete floor occurs at the entry plaza as well as a live moss wall. Indoor trees are placed throughout. The upper floors are treated with a more industrial direction in a nod to the neighborhood.

Decorative concrete veneer wall finishes are used as well as various decorative glass elements. All the classrooms have wood-looking flooring and there is sustainable flooring in the labs. The design purposely favors space for student-focused activities, including career advancement services, academic enhancement groups as well as student unions and clubs. Widened “collaboration corridors” were designed with a range of furniture groupings to invite less formal faculty/student interactions outside of the classroom. The stepped seating in the cafeteria connects the main public floor on level 5 to the classrooms and labs on levels 6 and 7 . It serves as an “urban quad” that is the social heart of the campus.

This new campus consists of a library, chapel and interfaith room, auditorium, gymnasium and fitness area with locker rooms, wellness center, a central bleacher stair, cafeteria and outdoor seating at the terrace, food and coffee bar service, administrative offices and faculty lounges, classrooms and labs (bio, nursing labs, etc.), collaborative seating and lounges in open areas, radio booth, executive suite and restrooms.

The Switzer Group worked with the client’s branding consultant to provide the design vision.

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Walt Disney