ARCH 5113 Core Studio IV Instructors: Felix Heisel, Margaret Kirk
2023 Spring Cornell University
The adaptive reuse project at Ithaca’s Southworks facility focuses on transforming an old factory space into a refreshing, environmentally conscious facility, aligning with the objectives of Ithaca’s Green New Deal. This initiative is centered around using sustainable materials, including cross-laminated timber and reclaimed timbers from deconstructed local houses, which are utilized to create versatile spaces suitable for various training and educational programs. The project also incorporates green infrastructure and energy-efficient technologies to enhance workplace sustainability.
In terms of design, the project leverages reclaimed timber to reduce waste and integrate a piece of the city’s history into the new structure. The façade system is a notable feature, combining the original factory walls with a new, double-layer design to improve insulation and energy efficiency. This aspect of the project required meticulous craftsmanship, evident in the seamless integration of old and new materials. It serves as a testament to the workers’ skill and ability to blend historical elements with modern sustainable practices. Through its design and material choices, the project aims to strike a balance between preserving Ithaca’s industrial past and advancing toward a sustainable and resilient future for the community.

The project integrates old and new by repurposing timbers from deconstructed local houses and incorporating them into a contemporary design, blending history with modern sustainability practices. The old factory walls are retained as a gesture of respect to the past, functioning as partitions within the new, adaptive design that speaks to a forward-looking ethos. This melding of the heritage structure with cutting-edge green technologies and materials symbolizes a seamless fusion of Ithaca’s industrial legacy with its green future.

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