CCA Completes Revamped Wooster Hall at SUNY New Paltz

The restored Wooster Hall is clad with a new thermal and rain screen envelope to ensure energy conservation. All images courtesy CCA.

New York–based Croxton Collaborative Architects (CCA) has unveiled its transformation of the new Wooster Hall at the State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz. The humanistic design maintains 96 percent of the Brutalist structure first built in 1967. The redesigned Wooster Hall is now home to the school’s psychology and anthropology departments in addition to four engineering labs.

Crafted as an archetype of flexible high-performance, the building was decoupled from its concrete exterior thermal mass and encased in a thermal and rain screen envelope. The thermal mass—a large internal cubic volume of concrete—retains and stabilizes interior temperature in the event of a power failure or emergency. Exterior refreshes also open circulation to adjoining quads and connected buildings by replacing a rear staircase with “Spanish Steps” and new landscaping.

The interior promotes student-faculty collaboration with two upper levels of lounges, teaching and faculty spaces, and a cafe. An expanded dining facility has been installed on the ground floor along with the offices of records and registration, student accounts, academic advising, and financial aid, which saves 26 percent in net programmatic space. Extensive daylighting allows for open corridor views, while four bars of sunlight on the Grand Central Atrium invite nature into the interior as it marks noon daily.

The design not only aspires for LEED Gold certification, but also meets the criteria of AIA 2030, which charts the mission for Net Zero Carbon buildings by the year 2030.