Weston Hall

Weston HallThe current building for the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology opened in 1998 as part of a construction or renovation project at NJIT. The 111,900 gross square-foot edifice was designed by the architectural firm, The Hillier Group of Princeton, NJ, and built at a cost of $26.6 million.

The new building is a southward extension of Weston Hall, a long building along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the University Heights district of Newark. Access from the campus is along an elevated ramp from Summit Place, rising to a distinctive new entrance pavilion at the juncture of the old Weston Hall and the new extension. A soaring "kinetic" atrium at the entrance connects the old and new buildings while preserving the identity of each. Inside the atrium, a hub of function and activity, is the connection between all floors. From the entry, one can see the gallery, studio, library, teaching spaces and the administrative offices. In contrast to the old Weston Hall, the new building enjoys openness, and from within the large complex, offers long views of the two major cities of Newark and New York beyond.

It provides an educational environment that makes it a pleasure in which to teach and learn. The building really makes a statement from within, and statement about NJIT in regards to its relationship with the City of Newark, one of the architectural concepts that gave rise to the building form was its presence as a lantern on the hill. Students are working around the clock, so the building is illuminated at all hours.

Conceptually the building was developed by architect Alan Chimacoff (a member of the Professional Advisory Board), the chief designer of The Hillier Group, along with a faculty committee from the School of Architecture. "All can be seen as dynamic, angular and kinetic in contrast to the measured regimentation of old Weston and to the systematic arrangements of the new studio building. Here the contrast between the regular and irregular, between normative thesis and antithetical counterproposal is joined in a dialog that simultaneously reveres and challenges convention," said Chimacoff.