Campbell Sports Center / Steven Holl Architects

© Iwan Baan

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University, Manhattan, NY 10034, USA
Design Architects: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy
Partner In Charge: Chris McVoy
Associate In Charge: Olaf Schmidt
Project Team: Marcus Carter, Christiane Deptolla, Peter Englaender, Runar Halldorsson, Jackie Luk, Filipe Taboada, Dimitra Tsachrelia, Ebbie Wisecarver
Area: 4459.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Chris McVoy


Construction Manager: Structuretone / Pavarini McGovern
Structural Engineering: Robert Silman Associates
Mep Engineering: ICOR Associates
Civil Engineering: Hirani Engineering
Sustainability Engineering: Transsolar
Curtain Wall Consultant: W.J. Higgins
Lighting Consultant: Wald Studio
Audio/Visual Consultant: The Clarient Group
Acoustical Consultant: Cerami Associates
Code Consultant: Design 2147 Limited
Cost: Davis Langdon
Specifications: Construction Specifications Inc.
Precast Plank: Conewago
Steel: Weir Welding
Façade Fabrication: Architectural Wall Systems
Façade Installation: City Newark Glass

© Iwan Baan

From the architect. Located on the corner of West 218th street and Broadway—the northernmost edge of Manhattan, where Broadway crosses with Tenth Avenue and the elevated tracks of the 1 subway line—the Campbell Sports Center forms a new gateway to the Baker Athletics Complex, the primary athletics facility for the Columbia University’s outdoor sports program.

© Chris McVoy

The first new athletics building to be constructed on Columbia University’s campus since the Marcellus Hartley Dodge Physical Fitness Center was built in the mid-1970s, the Campbell Sports Center will be the new cornerstone of the revitalized Baker Athletics Complex and provides increased program space for the entire intercollegiate athletics program. The facility, which adds approximately 48,000 square foot of space, houses strength and conditioning spaces, offices for varsity sports, theater-style meeting rooms, a hospitality suite and student-athlete study rooms.

© Iwan Baan

The Campbell Sports Center aims at serving the mind, the body and the mind/body for aspiring scholar-athletes. The design concept “points on the ground, lines in space”—like field play diagrams used for football, soccer, and baseball—develops from point foundations on the sloping site. Just as points and lines in diagrams yield the physical push and pull on the field, the building’s elevations push and pull in space.

© Chris McVoy

The building shapes an urban corner on Broadway and 218th street, then lifts up to form a portal, connecting the playing field with the streetscape. Extending over a stepped landscape, blue soffits heighten the openness of the urban scale portico to the Baker Athletics Complex. Terraces and external stairs, which serve as “lines in space,” draw the field play onto and into the building and give views from the upper levels over the field and Manhattan.

© Iwan Baan

With an exposed concrete and steel structure and a sanded aluminum facade, the building connects back to Baker Field’s unique history. In 1693, The Kings Bridge, which spanned the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, was the main access rout into Manhattan. The current infrastructure of the Broadway Bridge carries the elevated subway, and Broadway, with a lift capacity of hundreds of tons. Its detail and structure are reflected in the Campbell Sports Center.

Floor 04 Plan

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Campbell Sports Center / Steven Holl Architects" 10 May 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I get it ! it relates to athletics through is use of architectural gymnastics …

    look at the corner that the building “shapes”…geez

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The plans are very unconventional (call them bad if you will) but i find the views and and spaces that this creates quite interesting.

    By lifting the program off of the ground floor he creates more urban space and gives great high level views out.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Somehow Mr. Holl’s work oscillates between profoundly beautiful and hopelessly messy. This unfortunately falls into the latter category.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I am studying this building for facade and structure. It is quite visually pleasing from the outside but when you start looking at the plans it becomes very complex and disjointed.

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