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The Atrium: Light Shining In

The atrium at the center of the 21st Century Campus epitomizes our vision of fostering a dynamic, welcoming community that generates bold thinking and new approaches to Jewish life.

Located at the crossroads of our campus, the atrium will create a kind of JTS commons, encouraging impromptu exchanges and informal meetings. It will be a place to sit and chat, to meet up with friends, or to work quietly amid a pleasant conversational buzz. For visitors, the atrium will signal a warm welcome to JTS and an invitation to take part in our spiritual and intellectual life.

One of the distinctive architectural features of the atrium is what our architects, Tod Williams Billie Tsien, call a “light monitor,” a rectangular bank of windows situated atop the atrium’s soaring A-shaped ceiling. Sunlight will enter the light monitor from the north side of campus, filling the atrium with indirect natural light. The light-colored interior walls will reflect and diffuse this light during the day, while high-efficiency lighting will supplement the daylight and light the space in the evening.

In warmer weather, we’ll be able to exit the glass doors of the atrium to enjoy the greenery and outdoor patio situated between it and the dining hall. The atrium’s copper-clad roof will add another distinctive architectural feature to our campus, as it will be visible from our second-floor library terrace and a smaller terrace outside the second floor of Kripke Tower.

Later this fall, we’ll start to see the atrium take shape, as our construction team begins pouring the concrete slab that will form its base and erecting the steel planks that will frame its ceiling.

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