Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

5,000 GSF

Student Life

The Department of Physics administrative office renovations were precipitated by a large building addition that created a new multi-story atrium immediately adjacent to the Physics offices.

Renovations consisted of approximately 5,000 square feet of space for the Department of Physics on the 1st floor of the 1960s vintage building Clark Hall. The reconfiguration and renovation included reception, main administration, open office areas, a work room, a kitchen accommodating a Type 1 hood for food catering, mail room, private offices and a corridor.


One of the primary goals was to create a new main entrance from the atrium into the Physics offices. This gave the department the opportunity to reorient and redesign the suite with new finishes and furnishings, as well as to create an enhanced work flow and spaces tailored to current needs. The existing opaque exterior wall facing the atrium was removed and opened up to the atrium with large areas of glass and a set of double doors to serve as the primary and public entrance into the Physics Department. A welcoming student entrance and a convenient mail area were also provided for 24-hour secure access.


Upon entering the reception area from the atrium, a wood reception desk accented from above with up lit panels face the atrium. Interior finishes were chosen to be sympathetic with finishes in the atrium and to achieve visual continuity between the Physics office space, the new atrium addition and the existing un-renovated space of the original building.


For more information about this project contact Graham L. Gillespie, AIA:

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