NYU John A. Paulson Center
New York, NY

NYU John A. Paulson Center

We design the way communities meet, connect, and learn

The Paulson Center is a 735,000 square feet state-of-the-art multipurpose building spanning a full New York City block between Houston, Mercer and Bleecker Streets. This campus merges learning and community into one structure. It is home to more than eight floors of academic space, sports complex, performing arts theaters, practice/instructional rooms, expansive commons, and housing for freshmen and faculty.

What made this massive development incredibly challenging was the rapid progression of technology over the years. It was paramount for us to keep up with the latest equipment and ensure the building infrastructure worked with the technology of today. Furthermore, with its many uses and spaces, the Paulson Center brought forth a mix of acoustical challenges. Cerami helped NYU navigate these challenges with acoustical and technology designs that optimized teaching and learning environments for all students and faculty.

Signature Solution: This urban campus is essentially multiple buildings glued together, each operating with their own independent technology systems. Security devices are seamlessly integrated within the glass architecture to provide an elevated level of security. Robust IT infrastructure capable of supporting the migration to future technology are implemented throughout. Unique audiovisual solutions are employed for the classrooms, residences, amenities and athletics facilities.

The classrooms are all designed to be flexible and reconfigurable, each with systems that support hybrid learning and operates AV over IP technology. This enables students and faculty to easily share and switch content to any displays across over 50 classrooms within the building! The common areas are strategically designed to foster connection between people and encourage interactions among NYU’s diverse community. Furnished with kiosks that enable digital signage and wayfinding, as well as ceiling speakers for playing background music and broadcasting events, the lobbies offer wide open spaces and seating for students to find respite from the hustles and bustles of the campus. Open lounges scattered throughout the building are perfect places for individual or group work, preparing for a class, or catching up with friends and colleagues. Some lounges even feature large LED displays and speakers dedicated for movie screenings. One of the highlights of the sports complex is the four-court gym which can be used simultaneously and independently and can accommodate a multitude of programs, functions, and events. Each court is equipped with large video displays used for hyping content and game replays, ceiling mounted cameras that track the movements of players, and advanced audio and sound systems, including ceiling hung, large line array speakers that you can find in Madison Square Garden!

Acoustics matter everywhere especially for a structure that sits above a busy New York City MTA subway line. To reduce the trains’ noise and vibration impact to the building, we incorporated isolation materials at the columns and foundation walls. The custom curtain wall acts as a barrier to keep traffic noise out and not a nuisance to the classrooms and housing. The instructional spaces and quiet/focus areas are further furnished with acoustically absorptive finishes such as acoustic ceilings, stretched fabric systems, and fabric wrapped panels to maximize speech intelligibility and create comfortable spaces for studying and learning. Diverse sound reduction techniques are employed to the athletics center to ensure students will never hear what’s behind closed doors – from floating floor construction to robust walls and doors, to isolated ceilings – these features will help avoid noise transfer between spaces.

Davis Brody Bond

BR+A Consulting Engineers

Severud Associates

Civil and Geotechnical Engineer: