Location: Brockport, NY
Completed: August 2012
Program: Cafe and Multipurpose spaces
Construction Type: Addition
Awards: 2013 AIACNY Architecture Award of Excellence
The Tuttle Hub developed from a shortage of multipurpose activity spaces within SUNY Brockport’s aging Tuttle Athletic Complex, as well as the need for a comfortable and inviting dining facility. The two existing Tuttle buildings were separated by a narrow alley, connected only by a dreary underground tunnel. Seeking to provide a stronger connection and a welcoming entrance for the east side of the complex, the Tuttle Hub fills the alley and diagrammatically expands outward. Development of the building’s massing and form was focused on dynamically expressing the most important programmatic components. The main multipurpose space cantilevers a gravity defying thirty feet, its glassy façade advertising the activities inside through its transparency, while the athletic fields provide a dramatic backdrop and clear visual connection. The impact of this space has earned it the nickname on campus as the “Wow Room”.
As a significant student hub in the Tuttle Complex, the café sits at the heart of the Tuttle Hub, open to the surrounding rooms, circulation, and exterior spaces. The Kinetic Kafe as it’s known, offers both ala carte options to go at the Dash Market, and made to order custom orders at the Fusion Grill. The myriad of choices in the café allow for a flexibility in schedule and diet not normally accommodated in similar facilities.
The glassy façade of both the café and the multipurpose room above the entrance serve as safe harbor and lighted beacon to students approaching from the parking lots and fields beyond. The material palate consists of insulated metal panels, which extend through the café’s glass wall connecting inside and out, and also gestures to another recent addition to Tuttle North. Also included on the façade and site walls is brick, meant to coordinate with the monolithic walls of the existing buildings. These materials contrast well with the interior palate of concrete, wood and glass.
Daylighting strategies were extensively employed to reduce energy use and allow a greater connection to the outside environment for spaces without windows. For example, a multipurpose room internal to the second level makes use of roof monitors with translucent glazing for diffused low glare lighting, and is also wrapped in floor to ceiling interior glazing to allow the light to penetrate deeper into the building and provide borrowed light to adjacent circulation spaces. In keeping the solid masses of the Tuttle Hub away from much of the exterior wall of Tuttle North where offices are located, as well as using a translucent entry canopy in the alley, we could ensure continued daylighting into existing spaces.