New York University Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life / 2012

ArchitectMachado and Silvetti Associates

Structural EngineerRobert Silman Associates

Services EngineerThomas Polise Consulting Engineer


Façade ContractorPermasteelisa Group

The façade design, for this non-denominational student spiritual center at New York University, is inspired by the tree of life, a motif that embraces the cosmopolitan nature of cultures and religions represented at the institution. The bass-relief pattern grows from its solid base and spreads across the building façades, graduating to a delicate screen of foliage, which is suspended on concealed, undercut anchors over windows and opaque wall in a custom rain screen cladding system. The honed, laminated limestone panels are fabricated using a process of water jet cutting and CNC milling. Front collaborated on the façade systems from schematic design through construction administration, and developed methods to streamline translation from the three-dimensional design model to shop drawing output for digital fabrication.