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The new Columbia Business School operates across two dynamic buildings by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with FXCollaborative, with floors interweaving staff, students and admin

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXCollaborative

From the architects:

Project description

Columbia Business School’s new home spans approximately 45708m² across two buildings that reflect the fast-paced, high-tech, and highly social character of business in the 21st century. 

The two new facilities, Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall, double the school’s current square meterage, creating multifunctional spaces that foster a sense of community – spaces where students, faculty, alumni, and practitioners can gather to exchange ideas.

The design of both buildings recognises that creativity, innovation, and communication – skills often nurtured in informal environments – are as crucial to business school pedagogy as the traditional, quantitative skills taught in a classroom. 

The building organisation shuffles alternating floors of faculty offices with student learning spaces in the eleven-storey Kravis Hall and floors for administrative offices and learning spaces in the eight-storey Geffen Hall. 

The shuffled programme is expressed in each building’s façade with systems tailored to the populations and uses. 


The school’s internal spaces are organised around intersecting networks of circulation and collaborative learning environments that extend up vertically through each building – linking spaces of teaching, socialising, and studying – to create a continuous space of learning and interaction that remains vibrant 24 hours a day.

Engagement with the city and surrounding West Harlem community is a fundamental aspect of the new Columbia Business School’s design. 

Kravis Hall offers 360 degrees of exposure and proximity to the Hudson River. 

At the same time, Geffen Hall establishes a strong connection to the urban fabric of the neighbourhood and the mid-block pedestrian axis of the Manhattanville master plan. 

Every classroom provides a view of the city and landscape. 

The two buildings also welcome in the community, including a new dedicated space on the second floor of Geffen Hall for the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center that will build on the school’s ten-year history of supporting local entrepreneurs. 

A 3716m² public park and new retail spaces – including a café featuring local products – also connect the Columbia Business School more closely with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Location

Columbia Business School is located on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus in West Harlem, nine blocks north of Columbia’s historic Morningside Heights campus. 

The 6.8ha campus is also home to the Lenfest Center for the Arts, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, and The Forum, all designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, as well as a public park designed by James Corner Field Operations.

Credit list

Owner/client
Columbia University
Project
Columbia Business School

Designed by: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXCollaborative

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Iwan Baan

11 Dec, 2022

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