Sited between the historic campus center to the south and the town of Syracuse to the north, Newhouse III defines a new identity for the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Newhouse III joins two pre-existing buildings to complete the campus-within-a-campus of the Newhouse School. The full expression of both Newhouse I, designed by IM Pei in 1963, and Newhouse II, designed by SOM in 1972, was never realized, as both projects encountered significant cost overruns during construction and were scaled back. Newhouse III was conceived to announce the contemporary ambitions of this prestigious school of communications and journalism and to architecturally complete the thwarted ambitions of the previous projects.
Taking its cues from the materiality, color, proportions and geometries of Peis classically-inspired modernist temple, the east faade of Newhouse III creates a respectful backdrop to Peis building and completes the plaza. In the west, unencumbered by historic context, the faade on Crouse Drive is developed as an iconic sinuous and undulating form. Its gossamer-like glass skin, which changes dramatically in response to varied atmospheric conditions and fills the interiors with light, is a metaphor for accessibility and openness.
The new building has become an expressive icon for the Newhouse School and boldly marks the gateway to the campus with a form that leads the eye up towards the magnificent turn-of-the-century buildings on the hill. Monumentally rendered in a silk-screened ceramic frit on the glass clerestory at the base of the glass ribbon, the First Amendment to the Constitution underscores the importance of freedom of the press to the Newhouse School and reminds all students that freedom of speech is the foundation of both a liberal education and a free society.