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Northwest Corner Building / Moneo Brock Studio

Northwest Corner Building / Moneo Brock Studio

© Michael Moran © Michael Moran © Michael Moran © Michael Moran + 27

  • Architects: Rafael Moneo Arquitecto + Moneo Brock Studio
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  188000.0 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2010
  • Photographs photographs:  Michael Moran
  • Contractor: Turner Construction Company
  • Structural/Mechanical Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners Consulting Engineers, Dan Brodkin (structural) and Josh Yacknowitz (mechanical)
  • Facade Consultant: R.A. Heintges & Associates
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
  • Environmental Engineer: Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin
  • Landscape Consultant: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
  • Lighting: Fisher Marantz Stone
  • Cost Estimating: Wolf and Company
  • Client: Columbia University
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© Michael Moran
© Michael Moran

Text description provided by the architects. With the addition of this building, Columbia University, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions for arts and sciences, greatly expands its capabilities in an interdisciplinary approach to scientific research. The building is located on the Northwest corner of the University’s historic Morningside Heights Campus designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1897. It adds approximately 4.500 m2 of laboratory space and 2.000 m2 of classroom, office and study space. It also includes a 1.300 m2 research library, a 170-seat auditorium, a public café and a new entrance to the University’s Basketball and Volleyball Gymnasium.

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Constructed above the existing Francis S. Levien Gymnasium, the site conditions posed a significant structural challenge requiring that the new building span over the 125 foot wide facility, while maintaining large open floors for laboratories, whose structural slabs needed to be stiff enough for the use of microscopes and other vibration-sensitive equipment.

© Michael Moran
© Michael Moran

This structural feat became the defining gesture of the project. By representing the structural frame on the building façade through the application of aluminum fins oriented in parallel to the frame elements, the design reveals the varied geometry of bracing elements in the resultant patchwork of light and shadow as the “grain” of the fins shifts between the three possible “positions”. The building's campus facade is almost entirely glass, revealing the interior workings of the building and emphasizing openness and a connection to the campus community.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

Besides providing critical program spaces for the University, the building also forms a new gateway to the Morningside Campus, incorporating in its northern end a fluid sequence of brightly and naturally-lit spaces along a path between the street corner and the Campus level some 10 meters higher. All this is fit alongside elevator cores and service shafts within a constrained footprint in the area not occupied by the gymnasium.

© Michael Moran
© Michael Moran

Working as the Project Design Architect with Rafael Moneo, Moneo Brock Studio managed the project through all stages of the design process. Completed December 2010

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Project location

Address: Broadway y 120th Streett, New York, NY 10010, United States

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Northwest Corner Building / Moneo Brock Studio" 03 Jan 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/581067/northwest-corner-building-moneo-brock-studio/> ISSN 0719-8884
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