New York Blood Center Expansion Development Study

New York, New York

Located within walking distance of mass transit, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Rockefeller University on the Upper East Side, the site of the New York Blood Center is situated to serve as an ideal hub for life science collaboration and discovery, smack dab in the nucleus of New York City’s burgeoning medical zone.

The developer tasked our team of designers to conceptualize a new overbuild atop the existing facility that would attract top-tier medical and science organizations and justify the economic viability of such an endeavor. Since the current facility sits within a zone that is largely residential, our design maximizes the site while also incorporating community programming and new green spaces to maintain the urban context.

The proposed design transforms the existing building into a new podium, opening to East 67th Street with a glass atrium entry leading into a wide, well-lit interior “street” connecting to East 66th Street. This link is designed to serve as a main artery that binds the circulatory and collaborative spaces including the information desk, the auditorium, conference center, food services, and shared instrumentation labs. The large auditorium is designed to support the surrounding community and the familiar Blood Donation facility—a fixture of the city’s landscape for many decades—will continue serve as the reflection of NYBC’s commitment to community unity and cooperation.

The design further integrates green spaces through light wells which would be transformed into gardens and open to the atrium to add dimension and daylight, adding to the collaborative environment of the common area of the building. The gardens are designed to bring a quiet and natural outdoor interaction space. A third-floor roof terrace adds additional green space atop the podium, offering opportunities to access natural light and fresh air for occupants of the new high-rise overbuild.

The collaborative equipment lab space is designed to house various types of imaging instrumentations situated to ease transfer of their valuable imagery. The intent is to enhance the collaborative nature of the shared common lab spaces, so each lab is open, with offices and conference areas to support each team.

For the full design to visually express the welcoming and collaborative environment envisioned within this project, the proposed overbuild façade, re-envisioned entry, and re-thought internal circulation will all be organized to reflect an openness within the facility as it integrates into the urban fabric: a “Marketplace of Scientific Ideas” to be created as structure and symbol.