Okay, so in my observations of Cornell and local construction ,there is one thing that continues to be just a bit bothersome; two and a half years after it was announced , there has not been one single rendering of Gates Hall. So, let’s review what we do know.
1)The building is meant to house the Dept. of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS). Gates is allowed to name it because he’s forking over half the expected construction cost (plus, the guy gets around around- UW and Stanford have Gates Halls as well).
From the article: “According to Kenneth Birman, professor of computer science and chair of the CIS building committee, the information campus project is still in the feasibility study stage. Gates Hall is estimated at 100,000 square feet and projected to cost about $50 million.”
2) So, now we know it’s supposed to be about 100,000 square feet. For comparison, Duffield’s gross area is about 150,000 sq. ft. . Further investigation of the facilities website indicates that the architect will be Polshek Architects .
3) A review of Polshek’s firm shows some of their previous work:
Basically, it’s a firm that likes glassy, boxy designs.
4) Lastly, from the Master Plan, we see that CIS is behind Thurston, but there’s two buildings, and it’s a little confusing to tell which is Gates, since they are both listed as “in progress”.
My conclusion: Expect Gates to have a foot ptint between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet, 2-4 floors in height, with a boxy, glassy design not too unlike the Beck Center behind Statler Hall.