The Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus initiative is adding two acres and several buildings to the existing 14-acre campus of The Rockefeller University, extending over the FDR Drive. The extension, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, connects the existing campus landscaping and extends four blocks along the East River. This low-profile extension of the campus is replacing existing laboratories that are no longer suited to the needs of modern bioscience, providing Rockefeller researchers with cutting-edge, flexible research facilities.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus project includes new buildings with state-of-the-art laboratories, a dining commons, an academic center, a conference center, and associated gardens. These amenities will further enrich the university’s highly collaborative research environment and will also provide new venues for public programs, aiding the dissemination of science to a broader audience.
As part of the project, the university also repaired the seawall along the East River and improved and beautified the public esplanade adjacent to the campus for the benefit of the greater New York City community. The project has received strong support from the city council and community board, and the design of the esplanade, with new landscaping, seating, and a designated bike lane, incorporated suggestions from the community. The university is establishing a $1 million endowment to maintain the landscaping of the esplanade in perpetuity, and has contributed $150,000 to Friends of the East River Esplanade, a conservancy devoted to encouraging the restoration and renovation of the full length of the esplanade.
The centerpiece of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus is the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Research Building. This building, with a long, low profile, will be two stories high and extends almost three city blocks, providing 135,600 square feet of interior space, enough to accommodate over 600 scientific personnel. Its green roof adds almost two acres of open space to the university’s grounds. The design features an open plan offering flexibility for the changing needs of researchers. By eliminating the interior structural columns and mechanical shafts found in most older buildings, the design allows laboratory layouts to be modified to serve new research requirements.
The Kravis Research Building will link seamlessly with other structures on campus, including the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Community Life, the Collaborative Research Center, and The Rockefeller University Hospital, and will unify north and south campuses. The building’s open, flexible floor plan and close integration with other buildings on campus are designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among Rockefeller researchers.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus project was launched in November 2014 by two leadership pledges of $75 million each from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and from David Rockefeller.
The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation pledged $100 million in May 2015 to support the creation of the research building.
Work on the Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus project and Kravis Research Building began in fall 2015, and it opens in spring 2019.