In 2009, SHoP Architects won a National Endowment of the Arts competition to design a new academic building for the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. The proposed 10-story building had a striking design with a layered facade of translucent and transparent glass that looked as if it had been sewn together.
Further playing into FIT’s fashion focus, SHoP said the building acts like a loom, “[building] form and structure simultaneously.” It was both an aggressive departure for FIT’s Brutalist concrete campus, and another addition to the city’s long list of unbuilt architecture.
Now, six years after SHoP won the competition, the project is being restarted thanks to an injection of city funds. In his executive budget, Mayor Bill de Blasio committed $74 million over multiple years to fully fund the new building. This matches the allocation made by New York State back in 2009 (FIT is part of the SUNY system). The project has already been unanimously approved by the local community board, but will not have a finalized design for another year.
The building, currently named “C2,” is sited on a narrow lot between 28th Street and the FIT campus’ midcentury C Building,which is clad in metallic panels. When SHoP’s building does rise it is expected to obscure its neighbor.
To achieve LEED Silver designation, the 100,000-square-foot building includes a green roof, and a solar array with lenses that can concentrate the sun’s energy. Inside, C2 includes classrooms, laboratories, studios, and exhibition spaces.
SHoP Architects declined AN’s request to comment for this story.
Once the building’s design is finalized, construction will take three years. When completed in 2019, it will be the first new building on FIT’s campus in more than 40 years.