One of the big challenges was to establish a natural gathering place for architecture students that would also unite the disparate elements around it, from the 19th-century rustic style of Sibley Hall to the early-20th-century industrial style of Rand Hall. Rather than create a showy building thrusting upward or sprawling outward, Mr. Koolhaas said, he transformed a parking lot into what is essentially a flat plate, with one level above and one below.
Rem Koolhaas returns to his alma mater Cornell University to unveil his new design for the school of architecture. Planned since 1990, the design plans of two earlier architects were scrapped. Koolhaas was hired in January and his design almost immediately found acceptance.