Cornell's "high-tech" school on Roosevelt Island is really happening. The new graduate school, Cornell NYC Tech, is accepting a "Beta class" now (hope you don't mind going to school inside the Googleplex) and, more important for the rest of us, today they dropped some of the first drawings of what exactly the school's campus on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island is going to look like. And if you like the new Cooper Union building (and really, you do) then you should be happy.

The new campus is being designed by architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. And while it is still in the early stages—the first phase of it isn't expected to open until 2017 and it shouldn't be done until 2037—it certainly looks interesting. Of course it will probably get toned down after public comments and reviews, but that is building in New York.

So what is the plan? First up, Cornell wants to build an academic hub and a residential building just south of the Queensboro Bridge (that's Phase One). After that they'll bring in a few more buildings around a central walk that lines up with the center of the building. In the end there should be 10 buildings, which will include an executive education center and a private hotel that would be open to the public. In the end the campus is expected to accommodate more than 5,000 people (though, the school is quick to note, things could change).

And the buildings should all be very green. Like the first academic building:

It will have only six classrooms and be filled instead with open spaces and small “huddle rooms” for breakaway discussion, said Ung-joo Scott Lee of Mr. Mayne’s firm, Morphosis Architects.

The building, according to the architects and university officials, will be a “net zero” building, producing as much energy as it consumes. A canopy of photovoltaic cells for solar power undulates over the top, and plans are being considered to have wells harvesting geothermal energy and to work with companies currently experimenting with submerging turbines in the East River to gather energy from the current.


No word on when Chuck Schumer's nerd bus will start rolling though.