John Jay College’s New Building Wins Prestigious AIA Award

John Jay College’s New Building Wins Prestigious AIA Award

John Jay College’s New Building Wins Prestigious AIA Award

February 10, 2015, New York, NY–The American Institute of Architecture ( AIA ) National Honor Awards were announced recently and John Jay College’s new building was one of just 8 buildings honored by the AIA for architecture in 2015. The awards recognize extraordinary work in architecture and reflect “a resurgence of architecture for the public.” The winners will receive their awards at the annual National AIA Convention in Atlanta late May.

The winners were chosen by a jury of the nation’s top architects. John Jay’s new building garnered praise from the jury with the comment:  “This massive programmatic space has created an entire village—from a beautiful and happy daycare to a full-service kitchen and dining facility, mock courtrooms, and full-science laboratories. The diversity of space is impressive, and it is hard to imagine that it could be done better.”

After learning about the prestigious AIA award, President Jeremy Travis said: “We are thrilled with this high honor for our awe-inspiring new building that was designed by the master architects at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) in New York. We are grateful to our colleagues and friends at the City University of New York, as well as the City of New York and New York State government for bringing this 21st century campus to fruition for John Jay.”

Mustafa Abadan, design partner at SOM, responded: "On behalf of our entire team at SOM, we are very grateful to have had such a great client as John Jay College, who collaborated with us on this very challenging but extremely rewarding project. We are very thankful in the trust they placed in us and that we could rise to the occasion and deliver John Jay the distinction it deserves." 

The College broke ground for the new building in 2007, in order to gain much needed space for its expanding academic offerings and student enrollment, particularly in the science fields. The College also aimed to unify its campus and upgrade its technological infrastructure. Opened in 2011, the distinctive new building includes a city-block-long landscaped area that connects the historic Haaren Hall building with the new vertical tower. It encompasses more than 600,000 square feet of state-of-the-art “smart” classrooms, forensic labs, moot court room, conference center and simulator labs – all with a 100-percent WiFi collegiate environment.

The main entrance opens into the stunning Kroll Atrium that anchors the cascading spaces both horizontally and vertically, with a series of grand staircases, escalators, lounges, and gathering areas. At the heart of the College is the outdoor Jay Walk, the park-like rooftop commons five stories above the sidewalk. The Jay Walk, which was named by students, is the College’s first actual campus green and the only college campus park in Midtown Manhattan. Its greenery provides an oasis of natural beauty in the midst of the dynamism that is John Jay. The Atrium and the Jay Walk are buzzing with energy and vibrancy when the semester is in session, especially during “Community Hour” (1:40-2:40 p.m.), when student clubs and activities are in full swing, or when groups of students gather to carry on their class discussions or just hang out over lunch.

To read more about the AIA awards,visit:


About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit