New York’s “craziest new building” nearing completion

A campus for the Columbia University Medical College, dubbed by local papers as "New York’s craziest new building", is nearing completion.

The 14-storey glass structure will house the college’s graduate and education facilites at Washington Heights, northern Manhattan.

The project was designed by local studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with Californian practice Gensler as the executive architect.

Overlooking the Hudson River, the 100,000 square foot development will include a large simulation centre that will support elite training in clinical and surgical skills through hands-on experience.

The building contains a "Study Cascade", described as a "network of social and study spaces distributed across an oversize landing along an intricate 14-storey stair".

The cascade’s interiors are complemented by a distributed network of south-facing outdoor rooms and terraces clad with cement panels and wood.

Lee Goldman, vice president for health and biomedical sciences at Columbia, said: "Both the building and the newly created green space that will surround it will revitalise our campus in ways that will benefit both our medical centre and the entire community.

"The building provides upgraded education facilities that reflect the eminence of one of the top medical schools in the world."

The building hopes to attain LEED Gold certification.

Images via Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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  1. Speaking as a (recovering) architect, I have to say I really like this. A return to rational American Modernism and a rejection of the cynical deconstructivistic nonsense that has soiled too many skylines. It reminds me of what I was inspired by as a boy in 1965 at the New York World’s Fair. Nice to think we might be returning to a grand and brighter vision of tomorrow.

  2. Incredible design–LOVE IT!

  3. Student’s challenge: Discover the basic motivation which resulted in such unusual architecture! Could it be the latest anti-gravity craze sweeping America?

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