The University Center: Bringing Campus Life to The New School


It’s no secret that going to school in the heart of Manhattan is not the “average college experience”. Although The New School’s classrooms and dorm facilities are pretty much all condensed to the village, it’s never been quite comparable to your average university campus life, until now. With the introduction of the New University Center, in just a few short months after it’s opening, the school seemed to accept the mega building as it’s new home base.

With more common spaces per floor, and a huge dining hall with gourmet, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan meal options, it’s perhaps the most socially accommodating building of all university facilities in the city. Until now there wasn’t really any building used across all of the divisions of the new school, but now I find I’m bumping into friends from Eugene Lang, Drama, and the Jazz school while heading to one of my Parsons Classes on the 4th floor ! Not only does the building host classrooms, but also performance spaces, lecture halls, and the top 8 floors include our Kerry Hall residence (student dormitories).


It’s exciting to have such a welcoming community space, especially one that is so environmentally efficient. One would think that the size of the building would have a large environmental cost. But with the architectural innovations at Skidmore, Ownings, & Merill they made the environmentally conscious factor of number one importance. LEED-Certified,  a lot of the innovations are going on behind the scenes inside the infrastructure of the building, but you can also notice from the exterior the implementation of green roofs– hopefully setting a trend for other new city structures to reduce their carbon footprint by doing the same.

While no other building in the university could even compare in size to the University Center, nor can they compare aesthetically. Wide-open stairways lead you through from floor-to-floor amidst common spaces making the building feel far more open and inviting. Although there are closed emergency staircases, they too have windows to the outside of the building making the space feel lighter and more breathable than any other building on campus.


Also the interior decoration mimics the exterior with a clash of heavy vs weightless design structure which act in many places as extra seating or meeting spaces.

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The color coating of the hallways are much more vibrant than any other building as to act as a guide around the halls. Although at first they seem a bit shocking, they really do act as a directional tool which is very useful in navigating the space.

Having watched the building rise up the past four years on 5th avenue, I can easily say that it was worth the wait. I am happy to call the University Center my campus now, and am ready to make the most of it. For any additional information or comments about the university center, feel free to ask us below!

view of 5th ave

More information about the dormitories or more in-depth description of the facilities can be found at the links below:

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