Stefan Thiersch is the lead architect at Fiterman Hall
It stands like a keystone above the World Trade Center site, and now Fiterman Hall is on the verge of topping out -- marking the end phase of a decade-long recovery that began on 9/11. The new Fiterman replaces the 15-story Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) building that was damaged beyond repair by falling debris from 7 WTC. And though it took several years to complete plans and execute the buildings decontamination, the deconstruction took just six months.
Today, as is plain to see from all sides of its 30 West Broadway location, the buildings steel superstructure has filled out the block bordered by Barclay, Park Place, West Broadway, and Greenwich Street. Once completed, it will restore a vital component of the Lower Manhattan community. Its 54 classrooms, 160 offices, and 44 laboratories also will serve as much-needed space for the college and its approximately 22,500 degree-program students.
Stefan Thiersch, senior project manager for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), oversees Fiterman Hall construction. Working with building architecture firm Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners, construction manager Hunter Roberts, and other project consultants, Thiersch is part of the team that will ensure the buildings function as a welcoming extension of the BMCC campus.
On a recent tour, he explained that the new 16-story structure improves upon its predecessor in several ways, such as open atriums that promote flow-through in the building, two bicycle storage rooms, public spaces at street level, and several green design features.
With about 18 months left to complete the faade and interiors, we asked Mr. Thiersch three questions about the work ahead, and the highlights of the new BMCC addition.
What are some upcoming milestones for Fiterman Hall construction?
Mr. Thiersch: They include steel topping off in March 2011, the start of exterior panels in March 2011, and the start of the curtain wall in spring 2011.
What special features will be part of the new Fiterman Hall?
The building features multi-story glass atriums with circular staircases, which open up the building to the community, and also provide space for student lounges. The top two floors of the building house a conference facility with a glass atrium facing south.
How will the new Fiterman Hall benefit BMCC overall?
The new facility will house more than 250 classrooms and computer labs, and faculty offices throughout the building, as well as a conference center,and an art gallery and caf on the ground floor. A portion of the lower level and floors two through four will be occupied primarily by general classroom space to alleviate the scarcity of such space at BMCCs main campus.The third floor will also include double-height ensemble and choral rooms with BMCCs music department. Floors five through 12 will be occupied by the classrooms and offices of various BMCC departments, including music and art, business management, accounting, computer information systems, and the Center for Ethnic Studies.