Cornell Tech officially opened in 2017 as part of the redevelopment of New York’s Roosevelt Island. The Tata Innovation Center by Weiss/Manfredi is a centerpiece of the 12-acre campus, and it’s this unconventional location that investment-management company Two Sigma, headquartered in Manhattan, has sited for its 5,700-square-foot Collision Lab. What’s colliding are start-up professionals with engineering and student teams to develop disruptive investing products. WRNS Studio was optioned for a workplace that would harness this creativity.
“Elasticity and informality are the central organizing structures.”
Senior associate Stephen Kelley responded with an open program centering on what he calls a multifunctional “gathering platform.” White oak and live Irish moss contribute natural inspiration—“tech ethereal,” Kelley says; a mix of banquette and café seating, as well as the flexible plug-and-play workstations throughout, encourage collaboration. The palette is soothingly muted, particularly in the conference room and the canopy of gray acoustic ceiling tiles. “It brings a sense of wellness,” he adds, “and unexpected comfort.” Although a shot of bright yellow emits from a reading nook. It’s like a ray of sunshine, which the lab gets oodles of through an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows—the views of Gotham across the East River providing endless motivation.
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