1. Home
  2. /
  3. News
  4. /
  5. NYC Economic Development Corporation selects Ennead + Dattne...

NYC Economic Development Corporation selects Ennead + Dattner to design Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC) Kips Bay

Written by:
Amanda Mott
Ennead Architects, Dattner Architects

Transformative project on Manhattan’s East Side is a new model for equitable economic development integrating public education and industry.

Design approach will be shaped by Community, Circular Design, Sustainability, and Resilience.

The team of Ennead Architects and Dattner Architects, education and life sciences design experts in New York City and beyond, are pleased to share that they will work with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to design a major portion of the new Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC) located in Manhattan’s burgeoning life sciences district, Kips Bay. SPARC Kips Bay will be a first-of-its-kind job and education center in the heart of New York City that, in total, will include up to two million square feet for educational programs, workforce development, and job opportunities in the life sciences, public health, and healthcare sectors.The team of Ennead Architects and Dattner Architects will design the educational facilities, public space and infrastructure, and will oversee the deconstruction of the existing site. 

The project will transform the aging CUNY Hunter College Brookdale campus, which spans the 4.75-acre block from First Avenue to the FDR Drive between 25th and 26th Streets, into a state-of-the-art academic, healthcare, and life sciences hub that will provide myriad benefits to the city. It will yield an estimated 42-billion-dollar economic impact, improvements to the public realm, and a much-needed career pipeline into the health professions from local schools. Serving as the keystone for the entire Kips Bay Science District, the amenity-laden SPARC Square will provide a healthy mix of uses on-site including a verdant park that extends access to the East River waterfront.

The team of Ennead Architects and Dattner Architects will design the new 700,000 square foot education building, which will be shared by three integrated CUNY schools—Hunter College School of Nursing, CUNY Graduate School of Health & Health Policy, and Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)—and a new NYC Public Schools (NYCPS) health and science career-focused high school. The project also includes a new pedestrian bridge across the FDR to access the waterfront, the continuation of floodproofing infrastructure along the East Side, and the creation of significant public space. The project will strive for the most innovative, sustainable circular design solutions across demolition, construction, energy, materials, and processes so that SPARC Kips Bay raises the bar for responsible and resilient development in New York City. 

Ennead Architects will lead the overall design of the project, as both Architect-of-Record and design lead, and the Deconstruction and CUNY (The City University of New York) scopes of work, partnering with Dattner Architects, who will lead the design of Site, Infrastructure, Sustainability, and the New York City Public Schools (NYCPS)/Department of Education (DOE) scopes of work. The team of Ennead Architects and Dattner Architects is joined by several key collaborators on the project, including Buro Happold, LERA, VHB, and West 8. The multi-phase project is anticipated to be complete in 2031.

“We are thrilled to work with NYCEDC and our partners at Dattner Architects to bring a skyline-changing project to Manhattan that transforms the life sciences in the city and brings enormous economic impact,” said Ennead Architects Partner Molly McGowan, Principal-in-Charge on the project. “We are committed to delivering a campus that is responsive to the mission of SPARC Kips Bay, by bringing points of cross-collaboration within the building, a new open space for the community, and resilient, sustainable design to serve the city.” 

“Ennead has a long history of designing for the public realm and for the city of New York,” said Ennead Architects Partner Thomas J. Wong, Design Lead on the project. “We bring a commitment to civic space, along with deep experience creating leading healthcare and education facilities to our work for SPARC Kips Bay, where, together with Dattner, we will develop an innovative design that is commensurate with the quality and ambition of the education and research facilities that will have a new home there. The environments we create, both inside and out, will be crafted to bring people together and will be shaped by a shared commitment to the future of caregiving.”

“We are honored to be a part of this innovative and ambitious project that opens up educational, healthcare, and economic horizons for New York City,” said Dattner Architects’ Principal Daniel Heuberger. “SPARC Kips Bay is a major opportunity to harness the creative synergies that arise from bringing so many important public institutions into one place. Ennead + Dattner Architects bring a tremendous amount of experience, ideas, and engagement to the design of secondary schools, universities, and research facilities. We look forward to creating an exemplary campus, combining the best of urban place-making with innovative learning spaces.”

“SPARC is an opportunity to realize the greatest aspirations of this City, not only by ensuring the economic mobility of New Yorkers, but also, by setting high standards for sustainability and community-focused design,” said Dattner Architects’ Principal Ruth Ro. ”Dattner’s history is built on these principles, and we are excited to be partnering with Ennead, a firm with an aligned ethos and a proven track record of civic work and engagement.”

“After a highly competitive RFP process, we are thrilled to have chosen the design experts at Ennead Architects and Dattner Architects to deliver a unique and generational campus and innovation ecosystem for the city,” said New York City Economic Development (NYCEDC) President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “SPARC Kips Bay is going to be a campus where New Yorkers—from high school to post-graduates—will have an opportunity to enter the life sciences sector, which will spur innovation and save lives, while also making New York City becomes an even better place for to live, work, play, and learn.”

About the team

Brought together by shared values around civic-minded architecture, Ennead Architects and Dattner Architects have formed a blended team for the SPARC Kips Bay project. Both firms have a foundational mission to put people first, to engage deeply with the community, to make a lasting positive impact on the planet, and to give back to the city through iconic public space.  

About Ennead Architects

Renowned for its innovative cultural, educational, scientific, commercial, and civic building designs that authentically express the progressive missions of their institutions and enhance the vitality of the public realm, Ennead has been a leader in the design world for decades. The recipient of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution-Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the AIANY Medal of Honor, and the National AIA Firm Award, as well as numerous design awards for individual buildings, Ennead has a body of work that is diverse in typology, scale, and location. The firm’s collaborative process is based in extensive research involving the analysis of context, program, public image, emerging technologies, and a commitment to sustainable solutions.

About Dattner Architects

Dattner Architects is a mission-driven and women-owned firm contributing to many of the New York City region’s significant buildings and spaces. They have earned a strong reputation for leading complex projects and developing innovative, implementable solutions. With a focus on civic spaces and the urban experience, their projects are recognized for creating livable density, environmental equity, and strengthening communities. Their diverse, program driven work addresses important social, economic, and environmental challenges, and is a pioneer in sustainable and resilient design. Their work has received design awards from the Public Design Commission; American Institute of Architects; Municipal Art Society; Urban Land Institute; Society of American Registered Architects and others.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

Share on: