1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Research Center
  4. United States
  5. Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  6. 2016
  7. Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

  • 08:25 - 24 August, 2016
Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center / Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center / Diller Scofidio + Renfro, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan       © Nic Lehoux © Iwan Baan       © Iwan Baan       + 21

  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro

    Elizabeth Diller (Partner-in-Charge); Ricardo Scofidio AIA, Charles Renfro AIA, Benjamin Gilmartin AIA (Principal Designers); Anthony Saby (Project Director) Chris Hillyard, AIA (Project Architect); Chris Andreacola AIA, David Chacon AIA, Christopher Kupski AIA LEED AP, Barak Pliskin AIA LEED AP, Kevin Rice AIA, Gerard Sullivan AIA, Mary Broaddus, Charles Curran,Robert Donnelly, Amber Foo, Yoon-Young Hur, Joshua Jow, Andreas Kostopoulos, Joseph Dart Messick, Patrick Ngo, Matt Ostrow, Stefano Paiocchi, Jesse Saylor, Jack Solomon, Hallie Terzopolos, Elizabeth Wisecarver (Design Team)
  • Gensler

    Madeline Burke-Vigeland AIA, LEED AP(Principal-in-Charge); Kristian Gregerson AIA (Project Manager); Ambrose Aliaga-Kelly AIA (Technical Director); Joanne Fernando AIA, Jinho Kim AIA, Michelle Neary AIA, Bill DuBois, Ana Espejo, Mariano Ortiz, Henry Hong RA, Scott Wilson AIA (Design Team)
  • Structural Engineer

    Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA)
  • MEP Engineer

    Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
  • Landscape Architect

    SCAPE/Landscape Architecture
  • Curtain Wall Consultants

    Buro Happold Consulting Engineers P.C.
  • Lighting Consultants

    Tillotson Design Associates
  • Acoustic / Audio / Visual Consultants

    Cerami & Associates, Inc.
  • Building Code Consultants

    Milrose Consultants, Inc.
  • Elevator Consultants

    Jenkins & Huntington, Inc. (JHI)
  • Graphic Designers

    2x4 and Gensler
  • Civil / Geotechnical Engineers

    Thornton Tomasetti, Weidlinger Transportation Practice
  • Security and IT Consultants

    Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
  • Sustainability Consultants

    Vidaris Inc.
  • Foodservice Consultants

    Cini-Little International, Inc.
  • Construction Managers

    FJ Sciame Construction Co., Inc.
  • Owners Representative

    Group PMX
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

Text description provided by the architects. Columbia University Medical Center’s new, state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building, the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, will open to faculty and students on August 15, 2016 for the start of the fall term. Designed by the New York-based interdisciplinary design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect, the Vagelos Education Center is a 100,000-square-foot, 14-story glass tower that incorporates technologically advanced classrooms, collaboration spaces, and a modern simulation center to reflect how medicine is taught, learned, and practiced in the 21st century. The design seeks to reshape the look and feel of the Medical Center campus, and also create spaces that facilitate the development of skills essential for modern medical practice. 

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The building is named in recognition of the generosity of an initial lead gift from P. Roy Vagelos, MD, a distinguished alumnus of Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and his wife, Diana Vagelos, an alumna of Barnard College and the Vice Chair of the Trustees of Barnard College. The Vagelos Education Center was funded through the generosity of many committed friends, faculty and alumni donors. Construction began in September 2013. 

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

In addition to the new Vagelos Education Center, initiatives to revitalize the campus include increasing green space, creating a new gateway to the medical school, consolidating student services, renovating several existing buildings, and constructing new spaces, including the new home for the Columbia School of Nursing. The Vagelos Education Center will help define the northern edge of the campus and provide a bridge to the surrounding Washington Heights community. 

© Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

“Our new education building will ensure that Columbia continues to train superior doctors and researchers, educated in the latest techniques, as medicine continues to evolve rapidly throughout the 21st century,” said Lee Goldman, MD, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University. “The building also will allow us to centralize key activities in a state-of-the-art facility that reflects our commitment to providing world-class instruction and a superb learning environment for students.” 

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

About the Design

The Vagelos Education Center is a 14-story glass, concrete, and steel structure anchored by a network of social and study spaces distributed along an exposed, interconnected vertical staircase that extends the height of the building—known as the “Study Cascade”—and encompasses 100,000 square feet of advanced medical and scientific facilities. The alcove interiors of the Study Cascade, designed to be conducive to collaborative, team-based learning and teaching, open onto south-facing outdoor spaces and terraces. Other key elements of the design include:

  • Ground floor lobby and café, which adjoin a “study bar” with views of the Palisades.

  • Student Commons, which features a café, computer work area and computer labs.

  • Advanced clinical simulation center, a specialized space for mock examination rooms, clinics and operating rooms.

  • Multi-purpose auditorium, a 275-seat flexible space used for campus-wide events such as lectures, screenings and concerts.

  • “Academic Neighborhoods,” groups of classrooms that can be configured according to need by operable partitions, drop down screens and large-scale multi-user touch screens, suspended ceilings, and distributed power and data at the floor.

  • South and West Courts, outdoor spaces featuring local plant species.

  • Anatomy Quad, a flexible learning space with integrated screens and task lighting.

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan
© Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

“Space matters for structured and informal learning,” said Elizabeth Diller, founding partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “To support Columbia’s progressive medical education program, we designed a building that will nurture collaboration. Its defining feature is the Study Cascade--a 14-story network of vertically linked spaces in a variety of sizes, both focused and social, private and communal, indoors and out.”

© Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

“The Vagelos Education Center started with a clear vision as a place of excellence for higher learning that would also act as a much needed social center,” said Maddy Burke-Vigeland AIA, Principal at Gensler. “Because of everyone’s deep involvement, it has transformed into something that exceeds even those high expectations: a vibrant new hub for Columbia's Medical Center campus.”


DS+R’s design takes advantage of an incredible view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. The building also integrates a range of sustainable features—including locally sourced materials, green roof technologies, and an innovative mechanical system that minimizes energy and water use—and the façade features ceramic “frit” patterns that are baked onto the exterior glass to diffuse sunlight. All new construction and renovation projects—including the Vagelos Education Center—work toward the goal of minimizing CUMC’s carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025. 

© Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

View the complete gallery

Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center / Diller Scofidio + Renfro" 24 Aug 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Read comments
© Iwan Baan

哥伦比亚大学 Roy & Diana Vagelos 教育中心 / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.