From Constraint to Invention

architect Rafael Moneo
project Columbia University Northwest Sciences Building, New York, USA
written by Luis Miguel Ramos Castro


The new building that Rafael Moneo has designed for Columbia University is located in the last empty plot of the Morningside Campus. The grounds were designed at the end of the nineteenth century by Charles FollenMcKim, George Mead and Stanford White occupying the vast space between 114th and 120th Streets between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The buildings open up to the interior of the campus but close the perimeter to the rest of the city. They maintain an urban rhythm, with voids in between to allow for the transition between street and campus.