Vertical Campus

written by Danica Selem
architects Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro and Benjamin Gilmartin


After New York University and the Catholic Church, Columbia University is the third largest landowner in New York, and is in a constant process of expansion. Its new building, the Vagelos Education Center, which was designed by the interdisciplinary architectural studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is one of the first new buildings of the University in the northern part of Manhattan. Columbia’s main campus, whose famous library building appeared in numerous films, is situated on 116th Street, while the medical campus is located further north, in the mostly residential neighborhood of Washington Heights. They are currently working on the development of a project for the 17-acre-large plot in Manhattanville, a former industrial district between 125th and 133rd Streets, which, to name but one, will also contain the building of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center designed by the office of Renzo Piano.