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August 25, 2009
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Member News

KSS Architects Designs Second Renovation for Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

By 1614,Wanda Lau

Five years after the completion of the acclaimed Beck Center addition to Cornell University's Statler Hall, which houses the world-renowned School of Hotel Administration, KSS Architects is back in Ithaca, N.Y. The firm is designing the Statler Hall tower renovation, which began construction last September.
David Zaiser, AIA, KSS' partner-in-charge for the project, said SHA considers the 14,000-square-foot project to signify the true completion of KSS' previous addition and renovation to Statler Hall.
"It was an honor when the School brought us back," Zaiser said. "Statler Hall will become an even more prominent and engaging place to be on campus when the renovation is completed."
Formerly a part of an auditorium and theater, the existing tower will be converted into new programmatic spaces to support SHA's growing Center for Hospitality Research, Center for Hospitality Real Estate Studies and Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship. The project challenged KSS to create new floor plates within a tightly constrained tower space that then have to align with existing floor levels in the rest of the building. KSS also cantilevered several floors to gain usable space and fit multiple programs in the tower's small footprint.
To capitalize on Statler Hall's location at a main entrance to Cornell's central campus, KSS increased SHA's connection to the campus with a dramatic three-story glass curtain wall that opens up the tower's formerly windowless facade. The design also adds public gathering spaces in the tower, including a roof-level multipurpose room that will be accessible via a high-speed elevator.
"The assembly space on the top floor will have one of the best views anywhere on campus," said Allan Kehrt, FAIA, KSS partner and project designer.
The construction cost for the tower renovation project is $8.3 million. The total project cost is $11.6 million. The tower renovation project is scheduled for completion in December 2009.

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