2011-in progress
2011-in progress
2011-in progress
2011-in progress
2011-in progress
2011-in progress
2011-in progress
2011-in progress

Manhattanville Academic Conference Center

New York, U.S.A

As the third building of the new Columbia University Manhattanville Campus, The Forum complements the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts by adding “communication” to the mix of functions represented in Phase 1 of the new campus.

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The highly transparent, luminous, and active ground floor level of this three story building is permeable and open to the public. In addition to the lobby function for the auditorium above, this level which we call the Urban Layer could house café’s, restaurants, and other public functions.
Along the south side, fritted glass canopies help protect pedestrians from rain and the interior spaces from direct sunlight, as well as helping to articulate the scale of the building at the pedestrian level.

The two stories above grade contain an academic auditorium for approximately 430 people, with its associated support spaces, foyer, meeting rooms, classrooms, and offices.
In addition, a single basement below grade houses other support spaces and mechanical spaces.

The functions within dictated the architectural vocabulary of the building’s enclosure and shape.
The opaque volume of the auditorium is expressed with a prefabricated concrete skin, whereas the offices, which require daylight, are expressed with a glazed façade, and the transparent ground floor is both conceptually and physically open to the public.
Mechanical systems are expressed on the roof of the building.
The building looks like a ship levitating above the light and transparent Urban Layer.

The Forum can also be said to complete the architectural and material language/palette of Phase I of the new Manhattanville Campus.
‐ The highly transparent Jerome L Greene Science Center is like a crystal made mostly with “Glass”.
‐ The program of the Lenfest Center required a more opaque enclosure, is made with “Aluminum” panels.
‐ The Forum is using the “Concrete” for the opaque part of the building.

Together with the remaining buildings of the campus, they will be part of the first LEED platinum rated campus plan in the country (under the USGBC’s LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system).


Client: Columbia University

Design: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Architects: Dattner Architects (New York)

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