More than ten years after it was first proposed, the expansion of Columbia University into Manhattanville is finally coming together, with its first building opening on Harlem’s west side. While some residents worried the expansion would infringe on the Harlem community, the president of the university, Lee Bollinger, said the ongoing construction will result in roughly $6.3 billion in local investment. As the Daily News reported, the school paid $578 million to minority-, women-, and locally owned firms for construction work in the last five years. The project also created more than 1,500 construction jobs each year.
Columbia’s Manhattanville campus, expected to be finished by 2030, will span from West 125th Street to 133rd Street and feature 17 new buildings. After the university faced a series of legal battles and backlash from the community, they agreed to invest $160 million into the community to set up programs that would benefit local residents. This includes allocating $76 million for housing, employment, education, transportation, arts and culture and community facilities. Plus, $20 million will be put towards an affordable housing fund and $4 million for legal assistance for housing issues. Columbia has also committed $18 million for development and maintenance of West Harlem Piers Park.
The first phase of the plan includes the University Forum and Academic Conference Center, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts. As 6sqft reported last year, Diller Scofidio & Renfro are designing space for two academic buildings on the West Harlem campus. The two buildings totaling about 460,000 square feet of space will feature room for Columbia’s Graduate School of Business, including classrooms, faculty offices, lounge areas and outdoor green space.
Both buildings have an ant-farm like appearance, with floors that alternate between cantilevering volumes sheathed in fritted glass to recessed levels with transparent glass. In collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects and Harlem-based AARRIS ATEPA Architects, DSR the interiors include tech-savvy classrooms and flexible spaces for students to collaborate.
[Via NY Daily News]
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Renderings courtesy of DSR
Tags : Columbia University, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, FXFowle Architects, Manhattanville Campus
Neighborhoods : West Harlem