Times change and the science of studying the stars and the universe by telescope is light years advanced from the methods of studying that date to Galileo. The Department of Astrophysics at Princeton University, one of the most respected in the world, had outgrown the building designed for it over 40 years ago by World Trade Center Architect, Minoru Yamasaki. Ford 3 Architects was asked by the University to see how the department could improve and expand their facilities within the foot print of the original building.
Given the dictates of the program and the realities of the building, the only option was to rework underutilized spaces like the library. The books found another home and the two story volume of space turned into eleven offices, an elevator, a fire stair and a department common area. An unused observation dome was adapted into a state of the art meeting room. These new light filled spaces enliven the department's day to day interactions. The project also included life safety and accessibility improvements throughout the entire 34,355 sf building.
Ford 3 is currently contracted to complete a second phase of work, creating new program spaces on the building's lower level.