St. John’s University, Manhattan Campus

New York, New York

70,000 SF

Outstanding Design, American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase in the Common Areas Category

Positioning a showpiece within downtown Manhattan to promote and expand the University's outreach to students.
By way of providing a more contemporary and student-focused location in Manhattan, St. John's University relocated its Manhattan campus to Fumihiko Maki's prominent, state-of-the-art glass and steel building at 101 Astor Place.

The new, modern design emphasizes natural light, spaciousness and way finding. Floor to ceiling glass characterizes the classroom, library and hallway fronts, and combined with the all-glass perimeter, there is an overall sense of openness, providing a wonderful environment for learning and education.

The Switzer Group, working closely with St. John's University, took this opportunity to look afresh at the existing standards previously developed at St. John's, and to improve upon them. The three-floor campus consists of a large multi-purpose room on the main level just off the large lobby/reception and gathering area, providing both a street presence and a unique space for students. One floor down on the lower level sits a lounge for the students and a pantry area, and on the second level above the main floor, are the classrooms, library, computer room, administrative offices and a small pantry.

Unique branding telling the history of the University is woven throughout the three levels, with a graphic time-line exhibited on the feature wall of the main floor gathering area, and key photographs and events showcased across the walls of the main connecting stairwell.

“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