Last week, Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute opened Myrtle Hall, a new academic and administrative building located at 536 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill. Designed by New York City architects WASA/Studio A, the 6-story, 120,000-square-foot academic and administrative building is now home to Pratt’s Department of Digital Arts and is currently seeking a LEED Gold rating from USGBC. In addition to state-of-the-art classroom facilities, Myrtle Hall offers a digital resource center, animation labs, a recording studio, and a 4-story glass atrium gallery; the building will accommodate 200 full-time faculty and staff.
The glass atrium – the building’s signature design feature – connects two different exterior building wall types: a glass curtain wall with louvers on the south side and a panelized masonry wall on the north side, conceived by WASA/Studio A as a modern response to the historic character of the surrounding Myrtle Avenue neighborhood. The atrium allows views into and through Myrtle Hall from both sides of the building – suggesting Pratt’s collaborative – and transparent – educational mission. Specific green design features at Myrtle Hall include exterior sun shades, a green roof, a building-integrated photovoltaic system, and extensive natural daylighting throughout the building’s interior loft-like work spaces.
Pratt President Thomas Schutte – who has also served for the past 10 years as chair of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership – called the new building’s opening “a momentous a momentous occasion for Pratt as it demonstrates the Institute’s commitment to innovative design, environmental sustainability, the renewal of Myrtle Avenue, and most of all to its students. Myrtle Hall will move forward our academic program in Digital Arts and will tremendously improve Pratt’s services for students while serving as a point of pride for the campus community and our neighbors as the first green building in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area.”
Pratt received a $75,000 Green Planning Grant from the Kresge Foundation’s now-retired Green Building Initiative for the design of Myrtle Hall which (upon receipt) will become the first higher education building in Brooklyn to earn LEED certification.