Excavation of the new FIT university building nears completion at 220 West 28th Street in Chelsea, Manhattan

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Excavation and foundation work is progressing at 220 West 28th Street, site of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s new academic building in Chelsea’s Garment District. Designed by SHoP Architects, the ten-story, 110,000-square-foot structure will rise from a thin rectangular lot between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. The site is within walking distance of Penn Station, Madison Square Garden and Moynihan Train Hall and is seeking LEED Gold certification. EE Cruz & Company Inc. is the general contractor for the project.

Our last update in late July showed excavators and piling rigs working along the surrounding foundation walls of the adjacent Marvin Feldman Center, which will eventually connect to the new university building. A recent walk around the site shows the missing pile machines and steel rebar protruding from cast steel caissons on the southern edge. The western end of the property has yet to be excavated.

220 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

220 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

220 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

220 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The new academic building will feature a large, multi-story glass curtain wall along the main north elevation facing West 28th Street. A closer look shows the more transparent part of the envelope extending horizontally around the middle third of the facade. The top and bottom halves appear to be more reflective. Reflective bronze fins will extend the full height of the curtain wall, adding texture to the design. The east and west ends will be left blank, clad in brown rectangular panels in subtly varying shades. The overall choice of colors and materials will provide a nice architectural contrast to the brutalist buildings that have stood on the FIT campus for many decades.

220 West 28th Street. Designed by SHoP Architects

220 West 28th Street. Designed by SHoP Architects

The interior rendering here looks at the student lounge. Other programs within the new academic building include classrooms, administrative offices, journal and exhibition spaces, and a student quad illuminated by skylights.

220 West 28th Street. Designed by SHoP Architects

The new academic building is expected to be completed in spring 2023, as reported on site.

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