Abu Dhabi, UAE | 2014

40,000 SM | 400,000 SF

Architect: Rafael Vinoly Architects

Key Personnel: Rafael Vinoly, Jay Bargmann, Charles Blomberg, Christian Callaghan, Andres Villaveces, Vaughn Calandra

Andres Villaveces, under the design leadership of Rafael Vinoly, oversaw, managed and documented the design and construction of the building from conception to completion.

The Campus Center of New York University Abu Dhabi is the university’s centerpiece building.  It houses four major university functions - the campus Library, a Sports Hall, the Student Center,  a campus Clinic and a natatorium with olympic distance swimming and diving pools, and more than 600 rooms. 

The design of the Campus Center is driven by the long-span requirements of three major spaces: The campus Library, the Sports Hall, and the Swimming Pool; which are stacked on top of each other and concealed within an elliptical volume. The dimensions and geometry of the ellipse are informed by the requirements of the 200-meter track in the Sports Hall.  This elliptical volume raises above the precast concrete and it's clad in metal panels. The raised volume contains the campus Library.  A series of external and internal skylights penetrate the building vertically, bringing daylight to the swimming pool, which is located in the basement,  50 meters below the roof. 

The building program includes a 100,000-volume university Library, a Sports and Recreation center with international-standard basketball, volleyball, badminton, squash and racquetball regulation courts, a climbing wall, a 200-meter running track and seating for 2000 spectators; a student center with state-of-the-art educational facilities, two auditoria, a campus clinic and a FINA-compliant natatorium with Olympic swimming and diving pools. The challenging program requirements have  called for innovative solutions, and will result in a rich spatial experience for this world-class facility upon completion. 

The Campus Center anchors the central plaza, it marks the campus entrance, and serves as the visible and iconic landmark building.