Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $74 million commitment in his executive budget to support the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot academic building at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Friday. These city funds match a $74 million contribution made by the state in 2009. (FIT is part of the State University of New York system, hence its eligibility for city and state funds.)
The new building has already been designed, thanks to a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored contest in 2009, which was won by New York's Shop Architects. The structure will be long and narrow, taking advantage of currently unoccupied space on the south side of West 28th street between 7th and 8th Avenues, a block where the majority of FIT's buildings currently stand.
The building's modern design will stand in great contrast to FIT's block concrete buildings. The exterior will feature a multi-layered transparent and translucent glass façade featuring interwoven staircases and exhibition spaces. It will consist of 10 stories, including a green roof.
It's estimated that the design will still take another year to finalize and that its construction will take three years — so the earliest the new building will open is summer 2019. Meanwhile, FIT's student body continues to grow. A representative for the college says the campus is currently overcrowded and another 400,000 square feet of space is needed to address that overcrowding — the newly approved building will only address 25 percent of that need. Still, the newly committed funds are a step in the right direction.
Take a preview of the design below.