Paul Milstein Hall of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) was the focus of a weekend celebration by alumni, faculty, and students in early March to mark the building’s completion. The highlight of the weekend was a talk on March 9 by internationally renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, who designed Milstein Hall with his Office of Metropolitan Architecture. AAP Dean Kent Kleinman introduced Koolhaas and moderated a Q&A for a capacity audience of nearly 300 in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium and Boardroom.
The building “is both a remarkable accomplishment architecturally and a transformative pedagogical tool,” Kleinman told the Cornell Chronicle. “It is by design that Milstein Hall functions as connective tissue uniting students and faculty across departments. … No contemporary architect, in my mind, other than Rem Koolhaas could have embodied in space and material our complex needs and our aspirational spirit. The transformation of the college is already profound.”
Nearly 500 AAP alumni (a record for a college gathering) were on hand for the weekend’s events, which included an evening dance party on March 10 held in the Sibley Dome and the Milstein Dome, exhibitions by alumni, and a talk on the origins of the Savannah, Georgia, city plan by AAP emeritus professor John Reps and planning professor Michael Tomian.