University Forum and Academic Conference Center

A Forum for Engagement

The University Forum will be an important new space where scholars and thought leaders from every field share ideas.

The gateway to the new Manhattanville campus, the University Forum and Academic Conference Center is a multipurpose venue on the bustling corner of 125th and Broadway. The Forum will host academic conferences, meetings and symposia, providing an important new space where scholars and thought leaders from many fields can come together to share ideas.

The Forum features a state-of-the-art 430-seat auditorium

Multipurpose Meeting Space

The Forum features a state-of-the-art 430-seat auditorium, providing the kind of generous shared meeting space that Columbia has historically lacked. The 2,000-square-foot lobby in the building’s ground floor urban layer provides flexible space for a range of activities, from pop-up exhibits to University events and other public functions. The building also boasts meeting rooms, faculty offices and open gathering spaces.

Renzo Piano’s design for the University Forum

Design

The University Forum was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with Dattner Architects as executive architect and Caples Jefferson Architects, a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), as associate architect. It will have three levels and a below grade space totaling approximately 56,000 square feet, with a main lobby and retail space at the street level “Urban Layer.” The building’s functions dictate its exterior and shape, while echoing elements of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and Lenfest Center for the Arts. The auditorium, whose function requires opaqueness, is expressed with a prefabricated concrete skin, whereas the offices, which require daylight, have a glazed façade, and the transparent ground floor is both conceptually and physically open to the public.