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Arnhold Hall

Completed 2015

39,500 sf Adaptive Reuse

Design Architect: Deborah Berke Partners

As part of an initiative to bring all The New School colleges closer to their hub at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 13th Street, Mannes College is relocated to the Arnhold Hall building on West 13th Street, where it joins The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and The School of Drama. The relocation necessitated a re-design of Arnhold Hall to create practice and rehearsal facilities for classical music study, along with professional recording and performance spaces. 

Large volumes within the existing building are carved out to create multi-purpose interdisciplinary spaces. Architectural materials, colors and graphics, as well as accent lighting binds together Mannes’ presence throughout the disjointed levels occupied in the building.


Suspended linear LED pendants in graphical compositions recalling musical notes act as way-finding symbols in the elevator lobbies and corridors. The random and flexible fixture compositions allows the corridors to expand at elevator and stair landing to become a social area for students to gather within the same language and method of lighting. In the circulation spaces, the fixture hanging height and finishes delineate the space where people reside from the space above occupied by building equipment.


In classrooms & rehearsal studios, lighting fixtures are integrated with the ceiling design to create a sound isolated space optimized for acoustic performance. High level ambient and task lighting allows the students to concentrate on reading fine music scores in long practice hours without eye fatigue.


New lighting at the storefront windows and vitrines creates a strong connection between the street and internal activities, allowing the “process lab” to be highly visible, with student experimentation giving expression to the building.

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