Cornell RPCC

Robert Purcell Community Center Feasibility Study

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
Completed 2013

LTL was commissioned to assess the feasibility of constructing a two story addition to the south side of the Robert Purcell Community Center that would expand a grill and convenience store on the first level, expand flexible meeting space on the second level, minimize impact to the dining facility on the third floor, and mitigate severe structural issues affecting the building.

In response to this brief, LTL designed three schemes ranging in scale.  In Scheme A the 3rd floor cantilevers are removed back to the existing first row of concrete columns and the first and 2nd floors are built out below to add additional space. A new exterior enclosure line is made at the existing brick clad concrete columns.  In Scheme B the existing 3rd floor remains intact and the supporting concrete beams are encased in steel and shored with new columns. The first and second floors are built out underneath the 3rd floor plate above to align with the extent of the existing 3rd floor. In Scheme C the 3rd floor cantilevers and 2nd floor exterior balcony is removed, and a new 3 storey addition is built to reclaim space on all floors.

LTL worked with engineers at La Bella Associates, P.C. to analyze reports made on the structural history and condition of the building in developing these schemes for a full cost estimation, and worked closely with the client to ensure the schemes accommodated their programmatic needs.

The final phase of the study extrapolated the schemes developed for the south façade to all four sides of the building, and used cost and construction timing to suggest strategies for the whole building.

Client: Cornell University
Project team: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Jason Dannenbring, Carly Berger
Structural and MEP engineers: La Bella Associates, P.C.
Food consultant: Hammer Design Associates