ABU DHABI // The capital has moved a little closer to New York City with the opening of a landmark town house in Greenwich Village, which will be the official home of New York University Abu Dhabi in Manhattan. The opening of 19 Washington Square North marks a significant step in the establishment of the Abu Dhabi campus, which was first announced in October 2007.
"It demonstrates to the whole NYU community with its very prestigious address on Washington Square the importance of the project and the fact that the connectivity between the two campuses is our main objective," said Dr Hilary Ballon, deputy vice chancellor for the Abu Dhabi campus. NYU Abu Dhabi will open its doors next autumn to an inaugural class of roughly 100 students in a temporary downtown campus until its permanent home on Saadiyat Island is complete. The university has been slowly gearing up for the 2010 opening: key administrators have been relocating to Abu Dhabi over the last 12 months, and the NYUAD Institute has presented a series of public events, including a two-day conference on higher education and globalisation that begins today.
The Greenwich Village town house, built in 1836, has been a part of NYU since the university bought the building in 1984. Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects, a New York City-based firm, started an extensive renovation in September last year. The 11,400sq ft building, which previously served as a residence, is now home to a welcome centre, office space for visiting faculty, a seminar room for video-conferencing with Abu Dhabi, and an event space.
"We have a very ambitious set of public programmes that are connected to the events that the NYUAD Institute runs in Abu Dhabi," Dr Ballon said of the events scheduled at 19 Washington Square North. "We have a lecture series this year called the 'Cosmopolitan Idea' which addresses a range of issues about the topic of cosmopolitanism, which is a pretty fundamental kind of value associated with NYU Abu Dhabi and the vision of global citizenship and international diversity of our campus," she said.
Other events planned for next year in New York include a lecture series on environmental sustainability and a programme on Middle Eastern art. "There is another objective in our public programmes, which is to advance awareness of Abu Dhabi and of the region of the Middle East more broadly, Dr Ballon said. firstname.lastname@example.org