Designed by the New York City architecture firm WASA/Studio A, Myrtle Hall meets the United States Green Building Council standards for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification based on its eco-features that include exterior sun shades; a green roof that absorbs rainwater, reflects heat, and sequesters greenhouse gasses; and solar photo-voltaic panels that generate on-site electricity. It is the first higher education building project in Brooklyn to receive any LEED certification and the first academic building to receive a LEED-gold certification in Brooklyn.
The building serves as a physical manifestation of Pratt’s commitment to sustainable design education and promote the revitalization of Myrtle Avenue, which has undergone a major transformation in recent years.
The design of Myrtle Hall involves two site-specific wall types — a glass curtain wall and a paneled masonry wall that relates to the surrounding mercantile brick structures that are found along Myrtle Avenue while maintaining a contemporary look. Connecting the two wall systems is a four-story atrium with views into and through the building from both sides. The atrium is the building’s most prominent feature and serves as a second-floor gallery outside of the Office of Admissions to display alumni work, while the fourth-floor gallery display the work of Digital Arts students and faculty. The atrium also serves as a symbolic gesture of transparency connecting Myrtle Avenue to the campus and illustrating Pratt’s openness to the community. Other prominent design features include a loft-like light-filled interior that is consistent with the industrial character of Pratt’s creative workspaces.
“Our building design is meant to explore the relationship between Pratt — a great New York institution — and the larger community within which it resides, and the development of the two principal wall systems, tied together by the transparent central gathering space, is meant to be a metaphor for that relationship,” said the building’s design architect, Jack Esterson, AIA, who is Partner-in-Charge and Lead Designer of the Myrtle Hall building project and Partner-in-Charge of Design at the architecture firm WASA/Studio A. “We hope that it fully expresses a positive relationship and the quality of design innovation that Pratt represents to its students, faculty and staff, as well as to the city at large.”