New York University chooses architect for main campus

The Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly has been chosen to design its main campus, which will be situated in the Marina District of Saadiyat Island.

ABU DHABI // New York University Abu Dhabi has chosen the Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly to design its main campus, which will be situated in the Marina District of Saadiyat Island. Scheduled for completion in 2012, NYU's main campus will include lecture halls, athletics facilities, recreation space, student housing and an arts centre among other components. Designers from Mr Vinoly's firm and university planners wanted a design which would foster the interdisciplinary approach taken by the institution.

"Universities are among humanity's most enduring institutions," said NYU president John Sexton. "And, of course, an important part of the university we are creating will be its campus - its space." Known for designing the Tokyo International Forum, the Carl Icahn Laboratory and Lewis Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, and University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, Rafael Vinoly Associates was chosen by NYU's planning team and Mubadala development company, which are both responsible for overseeing the project.

"An undertaking such as this requires a planner of true vision, innovation and achievement," said Mariet Westermann, vice chancellor for regional campus development. "In Rafael Vinoly, we have found such a person. I look forward to seeing his vision emerge as I spend this coming year in Abu Dhabi, preparing NYU Abu Dhabi for the arrival of a permanent on-site CEO." While construction is scheduled to begin in 2009, the university says designs for individual buildings and the ultimate size of the campus will be decided during the master planning process.