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The Rockefeller University
Site Work, New Construction
230,000 sq. ft.
Rafael Vinoly Architects PC
The Niarchos Foundation-Rockefeller River Campus adds two acres to the Rockefeller University's East Side Manhattan footprint by erecting a 900-foot, three-story structure over the FDR drive - a major traffic artery that sees more than 175,000 cars per day and runs along the edge of the East River. The bridge-like structure was prefabricated in 19 sections and barged to the site from 32 miles away in New Jersey. Each prefabricated module was shipped with two levels of concrete slab, lighting, and fire suppression services for over the roadway, as well as necessary connections for existing buildings on campus, and installed overnight using a barge crane. Planned for more than a year, each of the 19 midnight installations was carefully orchestrated by sequence that took into account the tide, which would rise and fall approximately three feet, and the river current, which flowed at approximately six miles per hour, in addition to more traditional coordination considerations. The platform serves as the foundation for three buildings: a two-story 136,000-square-foot research facility, and a 5,000-square-foot Interactive Conference Center. The project also includes rehabilitation of the seawall and upgrades to the public esplanade adjacent to the campus.