The original Fiterman Hall, the southernmost component of the BMCC campus, was severely damaged in the September 11 terrorist attacks by the collapse of the neighboring 7 World Trade Center. This project included the environmental remediation and deconstruction of the damaged structure. The new facility houses classrooms, computer labs, faculty and administrative offices, student lounges and study areas, a conference center on the top two floors, and a café and art gallery on the ground floor.
The greatest design challenge presented by the Fiterman Hall program is the accommodation of a vertical campus on a relatively small site. The building houses 15 levels of program space, including one basement level, and is the home for four major academic programs, in addition to providing a significant portion of BMCC's general education teaching spaces. Several major strategies were employed to address this challenge.
Vertical Circulation Systems
An open space was created in the center of the plan, with escalators and open stairs connecting the basement through Level 4, serving the general education program. The mid-rise and high-rise portions of the building are served by two banks of six elevators, which operate in express mode during change-of-class periods.
Stacked Atrium Spaces
The north and south faces of the building each have a stack of two-story atrium spaces with interconnecting open spiral stairs and student lounge areas. These stairs allow students to travel up or down one flight from the express elevator stops.
Grouping of the Academic Program Areas
The four major academic program areas are grouped into two-floor packages. The lounge areas, which connect with the atrium spaces, allow students to remain on their program floors for much of the school day, significantly reducing elevator loads.
The building has two major entrances: one on the northwest corner, serving as a natural link to the rest of the BMCC campus, and another on the south side, facing a new triangular park and the World Trade Center site beyond. This symbolic front entry features a raised terrace with a public café and provides direct access to the art gallery.
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