Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

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Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
AAP branding.png
Type Private
Established 1871
Dean Kent Kleinman
Academic staff
Undergraduates 512
Postgraduates 249
Location Ithaca, New York, U.S.
42°27′04″N 76°29′03″W / 42.4510911°N 76.48421459999997°W / 42.4510911; -76.48421459999997

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) at Cornell University was established in 1871 as the School of Architecture with the hiring of Charles Babcock as the first Professor[2] creating the first four-year course of study in architecture in the United States. Its first graduate, William Henry Miller, '72, designed many iconic buildings on campus including Risley Hall, Uris Library and its adjoining McGraw Tower, the presidential mansion (today known as the A.D. White House), and Boardman Hall, the original home of the Law School. It is currently the smallest of the seven undergraduate colleges and schools, with an undergraduate enrollment of 547 and a faculty over 60.[3][4] The college is divided into three departments: Architecture, Art and City and Regional Planning. In 2015, AAP was the most selective of the university's seven colleges, admitting only 4.78% of applicants.

Cornell University's architecture department is one of the world's most highly regarded and prestigious schools of architecture and is the only department in the Ivy League to offer the Bachelor of Architecture degree. The journal DesignIntelligence has consistently ranked Cornell's undergraduate architecture program as No. 1 in the nation in its annual "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools" issue.[5][6] Additionally, Cornell's Master of Architecture (M. Arch) program was ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for 2016.[7] Accordingly, to "DesignIntelligence," Cornell's architecture students are the most wanted recent graduates by architecture firms especially in New York City. The department has one of the highest endowments of any architecture program, including a $20 million endowment by Cayuga County resident Ruth Price Thomas in 2002.[8] Among its alumni are such pre-eminent architects as Richard Meier, B.Arch. '56, designer of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and Peter Eisenman, B.Arch, '55, founder of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City.

The Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.) professional program was ranked #2 in the nation according to Planetizen's 2012 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs, ranking just below MIT and ahead of Rutgers and UC Berkeley.[9]


AAP campuses[edit]

  • Main Campus, Cornell University, Ithaca/NY - United States
  • AAP NYC, 26 Broadway, New York City/NY - United States[10]
  • Palazzo Lazzaroni, Rome - Italy
Sibley Hall, viewed from the Arts Quad

The college occupies four buildings on the northern end of the Arts Quad. Located in Sibley Hall are the City & Regional Planning Department, the Architecture Departments, the Rome Program, and the Office of the Dean. The Green Dragon Cafe and student lounge is located in the basement.

Tjaden Hall is used by the Department of Fine Arts. It houses painting, drawing, photography, and lithography studios. It also contains the Art Department main office and faculty offices. Rand Hall is home to studios and classrooms of the Department of Architecture. In Fall 2011, the Fine Arts Library was moved from the Sibley Hall dome to the top floor of Rand following a reorganization coinciding with the opening of adjacent Milstein Hall.

Located directly behind Sibley, the Rem Koolhaas-designed Milstein Hall (named after Paul Milstein) features a prominent cantilevering structure housing studio space that extends over University Avenue. The LEED-certified building also provides an array of other features such as a stepped auditorium space for presentations and meetings, crit space, galleries, and a sunken garden. Design for the building was a grueling process, with several architects and a constantly delayed schedule. The unfinished building opened to students in the Fall of 2011, with the ceremonial completion scheduled the following Spring. In January 2013, the American Institute of Architects awarded Mistein Hall with the Honor Award, the highest award.[11] The addition to the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, designed by OMA, was among 11 buildings in the United States and Canada that received 2013 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture.

Off-campus programs and facilities[edit]

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning runs several off-campus programs. The most prominent of these is the Cornell-in Rome Program in which students from all three disciplines spend one semester in Rome studying ancient to modern practices in architecture, art, and urban planning in classes taught by regular Cornell professors as well as Rome-based experts. The program is housed at the 17th-century Palazzo Lazzaroni off of Largo di Torre Argentina. The Department of Planning also offers a winter program on sustainability in Panama, and a summer program on urban development in Brazil.[12]

Additionally, in 2006, the College opened a 5,500-square-foot (510 m2) facility near Union Square in New York City as a work and display space as well as a venue for Cornell events. The program of Cornell NYC was then founded and AAP students can choose to spend 1 semester on this campus where they take studio and other classes and are assigned an internship in a major architecture firm due to Cornell's influence and alumni connections.[13]


  1. ^ College Facts
  2. ^ AAP college history overview
  3. ^ "College of Architecture, Art and Planning website". Cornell University. Retrieved 2006-06-01. 
  4. ^ "College of Architecture, Art and Planning courses". Cornell University. Retrieved 2006-06-01. 
  5. ^ "College of Architecture, Art and Planning website". Cornell University. Retrieved 2006-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Architecture program ranked number 1". Cornell University. Retrieved 2006-06-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Ready, Freda. "Architecture receives a gift of 20$ Million". Cornell Daily Sun. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs, 2012 edition". Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Bird’s-eye view of NYC for Architecture, Art and Planning Cornell University Press Office; By Daniel Aloi April 9, 2015
  11. ^ Dickinson, Elizabeth Evitts. "2013 AIA Honor Awards: Milstein Hall". Architect. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Department of Planning Website". Cornell University. Archived from the original on 2006-10-11. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  13. ^ "Cornell University Press Release". Cornell University. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 

External links[edit]