Below are frequently asked questions about the Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus initiative. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
The Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project emerged from a master planning process begun in 2012 to address the need for new high-quality laboratory space to meet the changing requirements of researchers and to replace existing facilities that are no longer suited to the demands of modern bioscience. The plans are consistent with the University’s intention to maintain its current size of approximately 75 independent laboratories. The project will ensure the continuing strength of the University’s transformative research programs in genetics, neuroscience, biological imaging, cancer biology, and immunotherapy, among other fields.
The centerpiece of the project is the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Research Building, housing state-of-the-art laboratory research facilities. Additional buildings and amenities will include a dining commons, an academic center, a conference center, and associated gardens.
The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Research Building will provide 135,600 square feet of interior space on two floors, enough to accommodate over 600 scientific personnel, depending on the researcher's preferred layout. The research building design features an open plan offering flexibility for the changing needs of researchers. By eliminating the interior structural columns and mechanical shafts found in most older buildings, the design will allow laboratory layouts in the new building to be modified to serve new research requirements. The building will provide stunning views of the East River and will have convenient connections to other research buildings and campus facilities.
Construction will begin in the summer of 2015 and will be completed in 2019.
Much of the construction work will be conducted from the East River, with pre-constructed segments of the platform being hoisted into place during overnight hours. This will minimize construction traffic, noise, and disruption on campus and for neighbors along York Avenue. Pedestrian and bicycle access along the esplanade will be maintained throughout the construction period.
UPDATE: Due to circumstances beyond the university’s control, a seven-week closure of the Esplanade is required to make repairs to pipes that drain rainwater from both the Esplanade and the FDR Drive. This work will be completed during the winter, between February 13 and March 31, 2017. For more information and updates, see Construction Updates.
Will the FDR Drive be closed?
Brief closures during overnight hours will occur as sections of the platform are hoisted into place and secured. All work will be in compliance with Department of Transportation guidelines.
What impact will the Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project have on The Rockefeller University’s beautiful historic campus?
The River Campus project is designed to provide substantial new research facilities and other amenities without disrupting the look and feel of the University’s existing campus. The project transforms the footprint of the University, adding two acres to its 14-acre campus by taking advantage of the University’s air rights over the FDR Drive. The project extends the campus out over the FDR for the length of four city blocks. The new Kravis Research Building will have a long, low profile, extending for almost three blocks over the FDR, and it will feature a green roof that will provide the campus with almost two acres of additional open space overlooking the river. The Kravis Research Building will link seamlessly with existing buildings on campus.
What impact will the Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project have on the esplanade along the East River?
The Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project, which has received strong support from the city council and community board, includes plans for repair of the seawall and for improvement and beautification of the esplanade along the East River for the benefit of the greater New York City community. The plan for the esplanade was developed with input from community members and includes new landscaping, seating, and a designated bike lane. The University is establishing a $1 million endowment to maintain the landscaping of the esplanade in perpetuity and has contributed $150,000 to Friends of the East River Esplanade, a conservancy devoted to encouraging the restoration and renovation of the full length of the esplanade.
Who are the architects for the project?
The design for the Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project and the Kravis Research Building was created by Rafael Viñoly Architects, a world-renowned architecture firm whose portfolio includes landmark buildings and public works throughout the world. The landscape architect for the project is Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects.
How are the Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project and the Kravis Research Building being funded?
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus project was launched in November 2014 by two leadership pledges of $75 million each from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and from David Rockefeller. The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation pledged $100 million in May 2015 to support the creation of the research building. These pledges constitute a substantial portion of the Niarchos Foundation–Rockefeller River Campus project’s anticipated total costs of $500 million.