KHA’s project for SUNY College of Optometry in New York City is a winner of this year’s AIA New York State Excelsior Award. These awards recognize excellence in the design and construction of state-funded public buildings.
The SUNY College of Optometry welcomes 70,000 visitors a year to the University Eye Center and provides academic and research space for 400 students and over 100 faculty. The College is a vertical campus on 18 floors of a midtown office building on 42 Street in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The University Eye Center is one of the largest outpatient facilities in the nation. The redesign of the public lobby on 42 Street was the key to creating a welcoming and easy-to-navigate patient experience. The lobby relies on light colors, bright non-glare lighting, and clear lines of movement to define reception area, information and security desks, elevators, an art gallery, and a through-block pedestrian avenue. The new Center for Student Life and Learning on the second and third floors is an academic and social hub, with lounges, fitness room, game rooms, and conference spaces gathered around a double-height multipurpose Student Commons overlooking Bryant Park.