LATC + TDB | Cornell University

Studio Bryan Hanes, in collaboration with Erdy McHenry Architects, has developed a Master Plan for the Large Animal Training Complex at Cornell University. The project is a collaboration between the Cornell University Veterinary Program and the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (SUNY). The challenge was to integrate the new CALS facilities with the urban core of the university. The rural nature of the site is consistent with the pastoral character envisioned by the “Town and Country” premise put forward in the Campus Master Plan, yet its location required a subtle underlying structure of the site to establish a gateway to the urban core.

A chain of meadow and wetland landscapes serve as an organizational device and while balancing the effects of site development. The wet meadow serves as the primary infrastructure of the site, collecting storm water on its way to Cascadilla Creek. The subtle manipulation of topography and meadow planting provide physical separation between the disparate uses of each of the buildings while providing continuity and connection through the shared landscape. The meadow basins treat run-off and allow infiltration to recharge groundwater. It is a dynamic landscape, changing with the rise and fall of surface and groundwater moisture and displaying subtle change through the seasons. The varying depths of the basins integrate to establish a complex mosaic of interrelated natural communities. Upland, dry pasture areas provide agrarian context for the more rugged low-lying meadow and adjoining structures.

The adjacent higher ridges elevate and give prominence to the site structures and their inhabitants, and provide a different campus vista. The naturalized character of intermingling meadows provides a unique identity to the landscape and provides physical separation between the disparate uses of the buildings.


Location: Ithaca, NY

Awards: 2013 Philadelphia AIA Gold Medal

Architecture:  Erdy McHenry Architecture