An Open, Welcoming Place
The 17-acre Manhattanville campus has none of the gates or walls that define traditional campuses.
A Campus for Urban Life
Unlike a traditional campus from an earlier era, there are no gates on the new Manhattanville campus. Designed to fit within the existing street grid on the blocks along Broadway west to 12th Avenue from the triangle where 125th Street crosses 129th Street north to 133rd Street—and on the east side of Broadway from 131st to 134th Street—the campus plan encompasses more than 17 acres with publicly accessible open space, tree-lined sidewalks and innovative buildings whose very transparency encourages shared knowledge and social engagement. The plan seamlessly integrates several older industrial buildings now supporting the University's academic mission and administrative offices. New retail stores, restaurants, cultural activities and civic spaces at sidewalk level will enliven local streets and create appealing pathways to a revitalized Hudson River waterfront park supported annually by the University.
The campus plan represents an intentional break from the longtime practice of urban universities—including Columbia—expanding from a traditional cloistered core in an ad hoc way based on available real estate in the surrounding area. Instead, the Manhattanville campus will develop over the years ahead only within the clearly defined boundaries of the long-term campus plan.
The nation's first university campus plan designated Stage 1 LEED Platinum under the U.S. Green Building Council's Neighborhood Development pilot rating system, the Manhattanville campus is designed to be pedestrian-friendly, environmentally sustainable and welcoming not only to a diverse university community, but also to West Harlem neighbors and the general public.
“What Columbia is doing is looking to what the University is going to be for the coming century. It’s a different approach, where the walls are permeable and the interface between community and campus is much more transparent.”