Columbia’s Latest Buildings Rapidly Taking Shape on Manhattanville Campus

A rendering of the new two-building proposal by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

A pair of glass-clad buildings are quickly taking shape on Columbia University’s new Manhattanville campus. Formally named the Henry R. Kravis Building and the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation, the two steel-framed structures will contain 450,000 square feet of classrooms, faculty offices, and lounge areas, and will feature multiple double-height spaces. Turner Construction Company is in charge of building the project designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXCollaborative.

Tectonic captured several photographs that reveal the vast amount of progress that has occurred since YIMBY’s last visit in May of 2019.

Henry R. Kravis Building. Photo by Tectonic

Henry R. Kravis Building. Photo by Tectonic

Henry R. Kravis Building. Photo by Tectonic

Henry R. Kravis Building. Photo by Tectonic

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation. Photo by Tectonic

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation. Photo by Tectonic

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation. Photo by Tectonic

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation. Photo by Tectonic

Both edifices have the majority of their curtain walls installed, and each will culminate in a white enclosure surrounding mechanical units above its flat roof parapet. The design of the Henry R. Kravis Building, which sits on the southernmost part of the construction site, features elongated rectangular volumes defined with angular cuts. These cantilever out over alternating levels of recessed curvy glass walls with rounded corners, creating an interesting visual contrast.

The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation is separated from the Kravis Building by the concrete foundation for a future one-acre landscaped plaza and green lawn designed by James Corner Field Operations. This structure features a similar but more vertically compressed design. The separation of the clear glass is greatly reduced, and will be filled with thin bands of opaque white panels.

The 1 local train can be found to the east at the intersection of Broadway and West 125th Street, and the northernmost tip of Riverside Park is just to the west across Riverside Drive.

The Manhattanville campus is expected to be completed sometime around 2022.

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10 Comments on "Columbia’s Latest Buildings Rapidly Taking Shape on Manhattanville Campus"

  1. The real world versus the rendering- somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, these buildings are not bad.

    • “Not bad” isn’t the expected result when working with one of the star firms! 😉

      Driving by the site weekly, I actually thought it was someone doing a poor imitation of DSR’s work. These buildings look like they were designed from the outside-in, and thus really are just more bad sculpture by architects wjo don’t think making smart urban buildings is important.

    • Agreed – a little underwhelming given the great renderings. I wonder if the look will evolve a bit as construction continues, perhaps there is some protective film over the glass that’s changing the color? Hard to tell from the images, but they certainly don’t appear to have achieved that lovely light feeling of the renderings.

  2. Confused in St Louis | June 9, 2020 at 9:45 am | Reply

    Could the difference be due to the dreaded “blue film”? I hope so.

  3. Lots of opportunities for outdoor terraces, yet no outdoor terraces. I feel bad for the folks that will look out onto a deep setback everyday and think “why can’t i sit out there?”

  4. Hopefully it will look better when occupied and lit up from inside.

  5. The first thing I notice about this is that the railing & sidewalk on Riverside Drive look nothing like how they are rendered. Does the architectural firm plan to redo them? If not, this looks a bit like deliberately misleading advertising.

  6. This will be THE business school. The buildings are gorgeous.

  7. Arnold Simmel | July 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Reply

    Such huge efforts demand concern for the environment,both natural and social. West of all these buildings between 12th Avenue and the RIVER has been an important supermarket–which, I’m told, has just closed down. OBVIOUSLY the present neighborhood has an interest in what’s going to happen there-we can’t help thinking Columbia must have some influence. Should we not be thinking about a ferry landing at the West ending of 125th Street? What are all those hundreds of people studying and working in those new Columbia buildings going to do during their lunch hours?

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