Peggy Ryan Williams Center - Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY

Ryan-Biggs provided the structural design for this four-story, $18 million, 58,000-gross-square-foot building, which houses the college's admission and administrative offices.  The design incorporates 4,500 square feet of vegetated roof on two levels, a 7,000-square-foot-exterior plaza deck, and a 100-foot-long pedestrian bridge which provides a direct link to the adjacent Dillingham performing arts building.  The building features a large atrium with stunning views of Cayuga Lake to the north.  A two-story presentation space is located at the northeast corner of the structure.  The building is clad with limestone and zinc panels with dry-stack bluestone veneer walls from grade to the first level. The building is steel-framed with wide-flange columns and beams and HSS braces at various locations.  The structure makes extensive use of cantilevered beam framing and transfer girders to create large overhangs at floors and the roof.  The roof also features a distinctive valley, which cuts diagonally across the rectangular roof to mimic a bird taking flight.  The floors utilize composite slabs and steel beams, and the foundation system is a combination of spread footings on bedrock and 3-foot-diameter, drilled concrete piers embedded in bedrock.  The pedestrian bridge is a double-cantilevered, steel-framed box truss with exposed steel pipe diagonal members. The building implements heat pumps that utilize geothermal heat from 400-foot-deep wells drilled into the subjacent bedrock.  The layout of the building space and the large expanses of glazing take advantage of natural light to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the structure. The received LEED Platinum designation from the US Green Building Council.