CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE COMPLEX LAUNCHED IN 2008
In any case, it wasn’t until 2008 when, says Horan, the school launched its fundraising campaign and began working on an initital concept design for the new space. “In the initial thinking, the business school was going to be put on a different site on the new campus. We did a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on the square footage and what kind of space we would need. The cost came to about $400 million. But after the space analysis, we felt we didn’t fit there and we needed two sites and the project went from $400 million to $500 million.”
The change in plans occurred in 2010. The school then signed off on architectural firms a year later in 2011. Final design plans were not approved until 2014 when CBS finally settled on the construction plans and gained approval from the university’s trustees for the buildings. “This has been going on for quite some time,” concedes Horan.
Construction of the B-school complex also was delayed due to the design of the overall Manhattanville campus. “The campus has a very large underground infrastructure and the university is building that right now,” explains Ed Moroni, executive director of Manhattanville planning for Columbia Business School. “So they are digging down more than 50 feet at this point. There is quite a bit of program down there.”
‘WE CAN SEE THE HOLE IN THE GROUND NOW SO IT IS HAPPENING’
Besides the more typical plumbing, electrical and technology infrastructure, there’s also the building of an energy plant as well as truck ramps and loading docks. “We can see the hole in the ground now so it is happening,” says Horan. “You’ll see the building coming up itself in about a year,” adds Moroni, “and we expect to complete construction in late 2021 and begin classes in January of 2022.”
A couple of university buildings have already opened on the new campus, including the Mort Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute building, which debuted last fall, and the Lenfest Center for the Arts, which opened in early April. A University Forum and Academic Conference Center will open next year. There’s also the potential for the engineering school to move to the new campus. The closest subway stop to the new business school complex is a block away at 125th St. and Broadway. When the business school moves out of Uris Hall, the old building will be taken by the university for arts and sciences.
Dean Hubbard met once a quarter with the design team to review progress on both the concept and the layout of the new buildings. The structures are designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects as executive architect and Harlem-based AARRIS ATEPA Architects, a certified Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE), as associate architect.
COMPLEX WILL ENCOURAGE ‘SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS & COLLABORATION’
“One thing that is unique about the design is the two buildings,” says Horan. “The west building will be alternating floors of classrooms and faculty and PhD office space. In the east building, it will be classrooms, research center and administrative space.”
According to the architectural specs, the designs include spaces that “encourage the development of social intelligence skills and collaboration across disciplines, flexible classroom space with the latest technology, dedicated spaces for recruiting, events and networking and an alumni welcome center.
“Recognizing that creativity, innovation and communication—skills often nurtured in informal environments—are as important to contemporary business school pedagogy as the traditional, quantitative skills best taught in a classroom, the building’s internal spaces are organized around two distinct networks that foster informal interaction between the student and faculty of the school. Each network is a combination of circulation routes, lounge spaces, dining facilities and study rooms that facilitate planned and unplanned interaction 24 hours a day.”