The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2018 Jury of Fellows has elected SOM Director Chris Cooper to its College of Fellows, one of the highest honors an AIA member can receive. Elevation to the College of Fellows recognizes the outstanding achievements of individual architects on a national scale. Of the AIA’s more than 91,000 members, only about three percent receive this recognition.
As a Director and Senior Designer at SOM, Cooper works on a wide variety of high-profile projects, primarily in New York City. His work is characterized by tectonic rigor with close attention to materials, and also by an agenda to integrate architecture with art. Considering the individual user’s experience, Cooper brings a small-scale focus to the design of large-scale projects.
For 7 World Trade Center, Cooper’s team collaborated with artists and industry specialists to develop a finely calibrated glass facade that responds to changing sky conditions: a tower of light that represents a fresh beginning for lower Manhattan. The project also set a new standard for sustainability, as the first building to earn LEED Gold certification for core and shell. Cooper's team designed the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a similar phenomena-driven mindset: the glass building is wrapped in red and silver aluminum fins that shift in color density and tone, depending on the direction of approach. With a central outdoor quad and a cascading sequence of public spaces, this vertical campus creates a dynamic college environment within a single Manhattan city block.