The original design of RIT’s Henrietta campus has gotten a lot of criticism over the years for not having the most striking aesthetic. It was built in the 60s under the pressure to move from the city and its architects opted for functionality and bricks, lots of bricks. But the campus has become much more beautiful in recent years, especially on the west side of campus with the addition of bigger glass windows and other fun design elements where your eye can wander. The campus now features sharp-looking modern buildings with some of the greenest designs in the world, several of which have been awarded LEED® Platinum.
The Golisano Institute for Sustainability is, hands down, one of the greatest works of art, science, engineering and architecture RIT has brought to life. Its construction started in 2011 and finished in April 2013 and revealed all the hidden treasures that can make a person who is passionate about the environment weak in the knees. 45-foot tall green wall? Check. Rainwater collection system? Check. Self-sufficient building powered by an external 400 KW Fuel Cell? Check. And the list goes on with energy features such as photovoltaics, geothermal, wind turbines, etc. It’s clear that RIT wanted to make its own mark with a structure “that would serve as a living laboratory for scientific discovery and experimental learning,” somewhere where we could all focus on alternatives and begin creating the newest, most cutting edge and environmentally friendly technologies that the market currently has to offer.
Have you ever been to Sustainability Institute Hall? My advice is to go right before the sun sets. You will witness through the glass the most beautiful blend of colors and light in all of Henrietta.