The 65 5th Avenue building is essentially the byproduct of practice, utility, and the desire to renew. The ambition is expressed in the sheer scale of the building. With the building being 364,000 sqf total, it is a hybrid of a dormitory and a core university building. By incorporating various elements such as the main library and a new auditorium, the school is attempting to create relevance and importance in the new building.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the building is the relocation of the Fashion School to the center of the New School. The school’s previous location in the Garment District created an inevitable distance within Parsons as well as the entire university. This idea of integration can be seen as driving force behind the building. The new layout of the building is said to utilize a vertically presented layout in order to promote community, while at the same time facilitating ease and clarity in navigation.
Beyond the grandeur of the building are the elements that have been consistently present within the New School walls. The key part of this is the idea of sustainability. Sustainability, which used to be reinforced through recycling bins, are now an essential part of the building’s technology. The new building features a power saving system that detects motion, so that if no movement can be detected in the room for a designated time, the power automatically shuts off.
The New School realizes that there is a need for centralization to grow alongside the strong diversity that exists within the school. With inherently self representational features of the building, the school is suggesting that it is attempting not only to reinforce its identity, but revitalize it.
Below are excerpts from an interview with Parsons Communication Design major, Marcus Washington, we sat down and spoke to him regarding his thoughts on the centralization through the new building.
“I am looking forward to the space, I feel like it’ll really address the limitation people feel with resources right now. We are sharing the building with other schools, I think it’s New School’s response to this issue.”
“I think it’s sort of a representation of the New School as a symbol. I mean the idea of it already is, but if its plans to create this one huge New School-mecca succeeds, it’ll really show the bonds between all of the schools.”
“I think the interaction between the schools, or even other majors is lacking. I’ve had times where I thought that it would be great to collaborate with other majors, but I don’t think the school really provides the platform for this as well as they could.”
In general, it is clear that the opening of the 65 5th Avenue building will be a pivotal point in the New School history, as well as the future.