Icicles at Gates Hall

[updated below] It’s been quite cold in Ithaca this February, but that alone would not explain the presence of icicles in the middle of the soffit at the entrance of Gates Hall, the new computer science building at Cornell designed by Thom Mayne and Morphosis.

Could be a busted pipe — a fire sprinkler pipe burst at Richard Meier’s Weill Hall at Cornell a couple of years ago — or even leakage of warm humidified air from the space above. Don’t know yet, but will try to find out the cause.

[Update: Feb. 16, 2015] Facilities managers at Cornell, in response to my inquiry, have told me that the problem originated with a frozen/broken secondary roof drain pipe — this pipe presumably started off (and was poorly insulated) above heated interior space, and then moved into unheated space, where the melted snow from the roof froze again, causing the pipe to fail.

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