October 4, 2005
Steven Holl Architects' new Higgins Hall
Center Section opened at Brooklyn's Pratt Insititute in September.
Sandwiched between two landmarked brick buildings, the $10.5
million insertion adds a modern touch to the historic Clinton
Hill district. The insertion connects the two wings of the
hall, which house Pratt's architecture school.
Holl's firm was hired for the job soon
after a fire in 1996 burned down a building in the same location.
The new 22,500-square-foot section is supported by six precast-concrete
beams and enveloped in interlocking U-shaped, structural channel-glass
backed with translucent white insulation. It joins two buildings
whose floor heights are mismatched by an inch on one story
and by almost five feet on another. Clear glass windows in
the new section intentionally expose this so-called "dissonant
zone, showing the ramps which connect the misaligned floor