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USMA West Point, Thayer Hall Renovation and Addition


United States Military Academy, West Point, NY


361,076 sf

N.R. Status


  • Society of American Military Engineers, PDS Unbuilt Project, Grand Design Award, 2020

QPK is proud to be nationally recognized by the inaugural SAME Design Awards program.

Jury Comments: "... a beautifully integrated, complex adaptive reuse and expansion of an important architecturally significant historic facility... Reflects a thorough design process including charette, ATFP [anti-terrorism force protection], day-lighting, materiality and integration with existing campus circulation and other systems."

The creation of Thayer Hall was the result of a 1903 design competition to improve and expand the Academy at West Point. The successful design proposal, won by Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, created Thayer Hall as a riding arena, the largest masonry indoor riding facility in the world, at that time.

By the end of the Second World War, horse and mounted Calvary training was obsolete and no longer relevant to the mission of West Point. Between 1955 and 1959, the riding hall was repurposed to house 350,000 square feet of classrooms, laboratories, assembly spaces and academic offices; therefore, making it a significant functional and aesthetic component of the United States Military Academy.

QPK’s 21st century renovation of Thayer Hall is the second re-imagination of the original facility. The design reinvents and expands the non-descript Thayer interior into a state-of-the-art academic building, creating a stimulating environment for collaborative learning, cross disciplinary interaction and providing facilities befitting of the world’s premier academic / leadership institution.

The proposed project will replace the entire 1950’s interior construction. The proposed two-story grand atrium expansion is distinct, yet consistent with the West Point vernacular. The arched copper roof with glass panels pays homage to the original riding academy and the grand concourse below provides natural light deep into the building, forming the signature space for Thayer Hall.

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