Owner's Representative—New York, New York

Hunter College MFA

Widely regarded as the best public Master of Fine Arts program in the country, the Hunter College MFA program hired Jonathan Rose Companies to assist in developing a vision plan for its new 100,000 s.f. facility located in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City.

Given the physical challenges and inadequacies of the existing MFA building there was excitement among students and faculty about the potential of their new home, however, there was concern about moving from a building with an indelible legacy that has been deeply tied to the identity and branding of the MFA program since its inception. With uncommonly large private studio spaces, and a rough around the edges aesthetic born out of several decades of the school’s “do-it-yourself” ethos, the existing building captured, nurtured, and communicated the entrepreneurial spirit of the Hunter MFA program.

Through workshops, interviews, site visits, and a review of emerging trends in MFA programs around the country, Jonathan Rose Companies facilitated a process with Hunter MFA students, faculty, and the administration to develop a vision plan to meet the space and infrastructure needs of students and faculty without compromising the core principles that make up the Hunter MFA ethos.

The resulting plan includes; the development of flex gallery/lecture spaces and storage solutions to reduce space redundancies; clustered and varied studio spaces designed to efficiently pair space size and type with media specific needs; informal spaces that can double as social spaces or temporary project based collaborative work spaces; flexible and sustainable infrastructure solutions for lighting and ventilation; and an articulation of design and aesthetic principles to be used during the design, construction, and management of the new space. Jonathan Rose Companies delivered a vibrant graphic presentation that Hunter College will use to communicate their vision and strategies to stakeholders, design professionals, and potential funders.

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Project Profile

Project programming and vision planning 

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Project Status

Completion: 2011

Total Project Size / Budget
100,000 SF