The Pratt Institute Manhattan campus is undergoing renovations that will enhance its presence on 14th Street to better welcome both students and visitors. Work is underway to add facilities including a new lecture hall as well as to relocate the Pratt Manhattan Gallery from the second to the ground floor to improve access to its rotating exhibitions.
Construction began in October and will continue in phases through the Fall 2020 semester, with the first floor—including the gallery relocation—completed during the Spring 2020 semester followed by the second phase focused on the second floor and first-floor façade. For this project, Pratt is consulting with Kliment Halsband Architects, Severud Associates, Thomas Polise Consulting Engineer, Dot Dash, Design 2147, and Jaffe Holden. The work ranges from subtle improvements such as replacing the banner stanchions on the outside of the Renaissance Revival-style building to major upgrades like reorienting the staircase in the lobby to help the flow of visitor traffic. A revamped façade includes new steel storefronts for the adjacent retailers and the gallery.
Director of Exhibitions Nick Battis noted that the renovations coincide with greater changes happening in the area. “Exciting things are coming to 14th Street—a tech hub, electric buses, and a newly expanded ground floor gallery to showcase Pratt’s leading exhibitions of art and design that explore themes of science, technology, politics, and social responsibility,” he said. “This strong street presence will make our gallery a new destination for creative inquiry.”
Significant attention is being given to the lobby to make it more open to visitors and advance student safety. In the past, visitors to the Pratt Manhattan Gallery have gone through the same security as students; its new ground-floor space will have a direct entrance from the lobby that is separate from the turnstiles leading to the upper floors. Glass walls will give visibility to the gallery from the lobby and the street, while a bench that spells out “PRATT” will be positioned just after the door to reinforce the campus identity.
The second-floor area formerly used by the gallery will be renovated for a new lecture hall with partitions removed to create an acoustically-designed larger space. This will replace an existing lecture hall that will be transformed into a classroom. The second floor will also have an expanded lounge aimed at improving circulation and offering more room for students to study and gather.
All renderings courtesy Kliment Halsband Architects