Wing and a Prayer

Wing and a Prayer

The simple, rectangular design seeks to be a good neighbor, maintaining the street wall and responding to the adjacent Judson Church.
Courtesy Machado & Silvetti Associates

On June 2, New York University unveiled a proposal for a new building to rise at Washington Square South and Thompson Street, on the site of the to strategize its growing space needs (projected to be as much as six million square feet between now and then), the new facility will provide flexible rooms for secular and faith-based purposes. It will have offices and support and worship areas for the university’s 25 affiliated chaplains, including representatives of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions.

The center will also provide rehearsal spaces for the student body’s musical endeavors, both degree-based and extracurricular, as well as general-purpose classrooms. The building will connect on most levels to the adjacent Kimmel Center for University Life, and will be tied into NYU’s recently completed cogeneration plant for its mechanical needs.

While these programmatic elements will fill the building’s upper floors, the first floor will retain the site’s previous tenant and function as the new Student Catholic Center of the Archdiocese of New York. NYU purchased the property on May 2, shortly after the Archdiocese demolished its Holy Trinity Church, which functioned as the previous Student Catholic Center. That building was a brutalist concrete shell completed in 1964 and designed by Eggers and Higgins, which also designed Vanderbilt Hall just down the street, an Italianate palace opened in 1951 that houses the law school.

If NYU gets the go-ahead from the Board of Standards and Appeals, construction will begin this fall, with completion scheduled for summer 2012.