Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College

Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College


Cooper Robertson turned our vision of community engagement into a physical reality. They fulfilled our dream of a building as literally open and welcoming as our mission — one that would bring Hunter to the community and the community to Hunter.

Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab

The design for the new Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College allows the School to “live its mission” by inviting access and open exchange among students, faculty, and the East Harlem community through the integration of creative programming, physical transparency, and views.

The entrance lobby is conceived of as an interior street linking the activities within the building to the surrounding neighborhood. Community gathering and gallery space at street level further animate the space and invite the public to engage with the School. An auditorium on the second floor is expressed on the facade with a glazed wall allowing views of activity in and outside the building. Classrooms, lecture halls, and laboratories occupy the lower levels with academic departments and offices on upper floors.

The new 145,000 square foot building also houses the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños Library and Archive, the Hunter Gallery, and the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity. A central landscaped terrace links the School to the new, Cooper Robertson designed CUNY Graduate Center Residence adjacent to the site. The LEED Certified project opened in September 2011 and was achieved through a model public / private partnership between CUNY and The Brodsky Organization.


  • City University of New York
  • Hunter College
  • The Brodsky Organization
New York, New York
Site Area
30,000 square feet
Completion Date
Construction Cost
$75 million
  • 2012 Municipal Art Society MASterworks Award – “Best Neighborhood Catalyst”
  • SLCE Architects Executive Architect

  • Scott Blackwell Page Academic

  • Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architect

  • WSP Flack+Kurtz MEP Engineering

  • Ysrael A. Seinuk Structural Engineering

  • LFR Geotech/Environmental

  • Cerami & Associates Acoustics/AV

  • SBLD Studio Lighting Design

  • Two Twelve Associates Signage/Wayfinding

  • Viridian Energy & Environmental LEED Consultant

  • Israel Berger & Associates Façade Consultant

  • Ducibella Venter & Santore Security Consultant

  • Van Deusen Associates Vertical Transportation

  • Turner Construction Company Construction Manager

  • Chuck Choi Photographer