Diller Scofidio + Renfro to Design Business School Facility

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Business School will be among first to join interdisciplinary Jerome L. Greene Science Center in academic development of new campus


Columbia University has announced that the New York City-based architecture firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro will design Columbia Business School's new two-building home as part of the University's long-term campus plan for Manhattanville in West Harlem. Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger, Dean Glenn Hubbard, and members of the School’s Board of Overseers made the selection to provide a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment for the School's extensive MBA degree programs and executive education offerings.

"Diller Scofidio + Renfro have repeatedly demonstrated a deep understanding of how people live and work in a dynamic urban environment," said President Bollinger. "They have achieved beautiful, important architectural successes that have been thoughtfully integrated into the surrounding urban fabric. This is the essence of what we are trying to create on Columbia's new, open campus—bringing together different areas of teaching and research, and enhancing the connections between the University and surrounding community."

Henry R. Kravis '69, co-founder, co-chairman and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., recently pledged $100 million to support Columbia Business School's new home in the old Manhattanville manufacturing zone. Kravis is co-chair of the School's Board of Overseers and one of the buildings will be named the Henry R. Kravis Building in recognition of his generosity.

"Diller Scofidio + Renfro fully understand that this project is about transforming the School and the way we do our work, rather than about bricks and mortar," said Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics. "They have demonstrated a great ability to translate ideas and concepts into boundary-stretching designs and we welcome their partnership shaping our new environment. Today's complex global problems must be addressed by transcending disciplines and 'connecting the dots.' Our new facility will foster that kind of teaching and learning without constraint or limitation."

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to make a new home for the Business School," said Elizabeth Diller, principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. "Our challenge is to support Columbia's progressive new approach to business education with architecture that participates in pedagogy and that animates a public center within the new campus and its richly layered social and industrial context."

Among their notable works, Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed the renovation and expansion of New York's Lincoln Center, the new Institute of Contemporary Art on Boston Harbor and the High Line park in lower Manhattan. Projects in progress include the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Archive, the Museum of Image & Sound in Rio de Janeiro and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Seasonal Expansion in Washington, DC. Their awards and honors include the National Design Award from the Smithsonian, the Brunner Prize from the American Academy of the Arts and Letters, the AIA President's Award, the AIA Medal of Honor, as well as a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the first in the field of architecture.

The Business School will join the University's interdisciplinary Mind Brain Behavior neuroscience initiative, to be housed in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, among the first residents of the open, environmentally sustainable campus in the onetime industrial area between the century-old Broadway IRT viaduct and the Riverside Drive viaduct. The campus will include public green space, easy access from residential West Harlem to the Harlem Piers waterfront park, and new retail, dining and cultural spaces that will attract and support small business and pedestrian traffic in the area. Future planned occupants in the campus project include Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs and School of the Arts.