The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture – A Public Institution Committed to Public Architecture
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture is the only public school of architecture in New York City. Established in 1968, School’s mission is to produce top-quality architects with a strong commitment to public architecture. This distinguishes it significantly from other U.S. architecture schools.
“Our emphasis on the urban situation as a generator of ideas about the appropriateness of programs and forms in the city landscape is one of the most original aspects of the school,” according to its Dean, George Ranalli.
Approximately 300 undergraduate and 100 graduate students are enrolled in the School, which offers curricula that combine theory and practice, with emphasis on studio work.
At the undergraduate level, the school offers a B.S. in Architecture as well as the B.Arch. degree, which is the first professional degree and requires five years of study. At the graduate level, the School of Architecture offers a Master of Architecture 1 (MArch 1) program, which is for students who have a baccalaureate in another field and requires three years of study, and a one-year Master of Architecture 2 (MArch 2) program, which is for students who hold a first professional degree in architecture. The school also offers masters degrees in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.
With the exception of the department’s architecture history instructors, all of the School’s faculty members are professional architects who have their own practices. They include: Michael Sorkin, a leader in urban design who has developed master plans for cities around the world; Lance Jay Brown, recipient of the 2007 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architecture Education; Peter Gisolfi, whose work has been recognized for its ability to relate spatial forms to their settings, and Dean Ranalli, who has been recognized for his work in historic settings, landmark buildings and settings with rich design and craft traditions.
Over its 41-year history, The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture has produced many graduates who have gone on to make their marks in the profession. These include: Frank Sciame, founder and president of Sciame Construction; Brad Perkins of Perkins Eastman; Jeff Levine (Levine Builders); Janet Marie Smith, who developed the Camden Yards; Alan M. Hantman, who served as 10th Architect of the U.S. Capitol, and Joseph Fleischer, a partner in Polshek Partnership Architects, one of New York’s leading firms.
More recently, CCNY’s architecture students have earned distinction at various levels. Honors and achievements have included the American Institute of Architects (AIA) prestigious Eleanor Allwork Prize awarded to Jeounghoon Park in 2008. In addition, two of the four Women in Real Estate Awards last year went to CCNY architecture students.
This year, the School’s reputation was further burnished by its collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art, located at the old World’s Fair grounds in Flushing Meadow. On March 16, three students, Claudia Ma, Steven de Laurentiis and Ricky Shum, installed a miniature replica of Citi Field, that replaced a model of Shea Stadium on the museum’s 9,335-square-foot panorama of New York City. This was the first of several models to be constructed for the Museum by CCNY undergraduates.
This project is one of several relationships the School has developed with the New York design and construction community since George Ranalli was appointed Dean in 1999. Others include the MoMA Project, in which students working with Professor Jeremy Edmiston designed and participated in the construction of a house on the grounds of the Museum of Modern Art, and the annual Barcelona summer travel program that sends undergraduates to work with distinguished faculty at Spanish institutions. Another initiative, the City College Architecture Center (CCAC), offers architectural services to community-based groups and other non-profits for public projects.
The $25 million gift to the School from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, will support many enhancements to the programs that will benefit students and faculty. And, it will propel the new Spitzer School to the top tier of U.S. schools of architecture.