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Columbia University: The Latest Architecture and News

America's Most Admired Architectural Schools 2020 Ranked

The annual DesignIntelligence architecture school ranking for 2020 classified the establishments according to the “most admired” rather than the “best”, for the second year in a row. The subjective classification is based on the responses of hiring professionals.  

Columbia University Creates 3D-Printed Timber Lookalike with Internal Grain Pattern

via Columbia University
via Columbia University

Researchers at New York’s Columbia University have unveiled a method of vibrantly replicating the external and internal structure of materials such as wood using a 3D printer and specialist scanning techniques. While conveying the external profile and patterns of natural objects is tried and tested, a major challenge in the 3D printing industry has been replicating an object’s internal texture.

In their recent study “Digital Wood: 3D Internal Color Texture Mapping” the research team describes how a system of “color and voxel mapping “led to the production of a 3D printed closely resembling the texture of olive wood, including a cut-through section.

via Columbia University via Columbia University via Columbia University via Columbia University + 6

A Definitive List of the Best U.S. Architecture Schools 2019

Earlier this month, we published the results of DesignIntelligence’s annual ranking of U.S. architecture schools, listing the top Undergraduate and Graduate schools for 2019. Using feedback from architecture and interior design professionals, the full analysis delves deeper than a generic “Most Admired Architecture Schools” list, and instead breaks the rankings down into twelve categories, focusing on technology, design theory, and more.

Free and open to the public, the full list on DesignIntelligence’s website offers comprehensive top-10 listings at both Undergraduate and Graduate level across the twelve categories, attained from surveys from approximately 6000 professionals, 360 academics, and 5500 students. Below, we have summarized the findings in a top-5 format, with the full listings ready to be explored on the official website here.

A Murdered Architect and Our Obsession With Cladding the Truth

In 1906, American architect Stanford White was murdered on the roof of a building he had designed sixteen years earlier. The now well-known story goes like this:

White, a founding partner at the celebrated firm of McKim, Mead & White, met the beloved model and actress Evelyn Nesbit when he was forty-seven and she sixteen. The first time Nesbit visited White’s now-demolished apartment building on Twenty-fourth street in Manhattan, he fed her lunch from Delmonico’s before guiding her up to a room housing what Nesbit described as a “gorgeous swing with red velvet ropes around which trailed green similax, set high in the ceiling.” From there, he took Nesbit to his bedroom, the walls of which were covered in mirrors, where he drugged her. Nesbit recalled, "When I woke up, all my clothes were pulled off me." Years later, Nesbit’s husband, Harry Kendall Thaw, shot White at a rooftop performance at Madison Square Garden. As the New York Times reported the next morning, witnesses overheard Thaw saying of White, “he ruined my wife.”

GSAPP Columbia is Launching the First-Ever Ph.D. in Historic Preservation Program

Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) has launched the United States’ first-ever Ph. D in Historic Preservation. GSAPP is ranked within the top 10 architecture graduate schools in the US in the latest figures for 2017. It’s leadership in learning and experimental practice is about to be further enhanced by the introduction of the course.

Decades After the Rise of CAD, Architecture Is Going “Paperless”—For Real This Time

If you visit an architecture office today, you may sense a slight change. The days of bulky desktops, ergonomic mouse pads and tower-high stacks of drawing sets are slowly giving way to digital pencils, tablets, and tons of architects’ hand-drawings—both physical and digital. Architects across the globe are clearing their desks, literally, and utilizing emerging touchscreen tools and software for designing, sharing and collaborating. It seems possible that, for the first time in years, the architecture profession could revisit Bernard Tschumi’s “paperless” studio which formed a key part of his tenure as dean of Columbia University’s GSAPP in the mid-1990s. However, this time, “paperless” starts with a pencil, instead of a click.

Construction Underway on Renzo Piano's Columbia University Academic Center

Construction is now underway on Columbia University’s new University Forum and Academic Conference Center, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Dattner Architects. Located at the school’s new Manhattanville campus at the corner of West 125th Street and Broadway, the 55,980 square foot building will serve as a new home for academic conferences and a meeting place where scholars from many fields can gather to share ideas.

Two Buildings by Renzo Piano Near Completion at Columbia University's New Manhattanville Campus

The first stage of Columbia University’s new Manhattanville Campus, consisting of two buildings by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, is nearly complete, with a move-in and grand opening slated for spring 2017.

The Piano-designed Jerome L Greene Science Center and Lenfest Center for the Arts are the first two buildings to be completed within the larger campus masterplan, conceived by Piano in collaboration with SOM, that will eventually encompass nearly 19-acres between 125th and 133rd streets in northwestern Manhattan.

Jerome L. Greene Science Center, seen from the southeast. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman Jerome L. Greene Science Center, seen from the 125th Street #1 train subway platform. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman Jerome L. Greene Science Center: Collabora- tive meeting spaces and open-air staircases that connect two  oors. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman Jerome L. Greene Science Center: Double-height meeting and interactive spaces. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman + 13

The Best Architecture Schools in the U.S. 2017

With schools around the country starting back up again, it’s time for the latest edition of DesignIntelligence’s yearly rankings of the Top Architecture Schools in the US for both undergraduate and graduate programs. This year, CEOs, managing partners, and human-resource directors from more than 2,000 firms were asked to list the 10 programs from each category they felt best prepared students for success in the profession of architecture.

This information, along with detailed accounts on the best programs that teach skills in design, computer applications, sustainability and construction methods & materials, factored into the creation of the 2017 rankings. In addition, over 2,785 students were polled on the quality of their program and their plans for post-graduation. The two top schools, Cornell for undergraduates and Harvard for graduates, were once again named the best programs to attend, according to the study.

Read on to see the list of the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in the US.

The Best US Architecture Schools for 2016 are...

DesignIntelligence has released their 2016 rankings of the Best Architecture Schools in the US for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Nearly 1500 professional practice organizations were surveyed this year, as part of the survey's 16th edition, and were asked the following question: “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which of the following schools are best preparing students for success in the profession?”

This information, along with detailed accounts on the best programs that teach skills in design, communication, sustainability and technology, resulted in the 2016 rankings. The two top schools, Cornell for undergraduates and Harvard for graduates, held their positions as the best programs to attend, according to the study.

Without further ado, the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in the US are...

Renzo Piano's Columbia University Science Center to Open Next Year

The first phase of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Renzo Piano Building Workshop's (RPBW) expansive Manhattanville Campus plan for Columbia University is making significant progress; completion is nearing on a highly-anticipated portion of the project - RPBW's LEED platinum Jerome L. Greene Science Center, which is scheduled to open in Fall of 2016 just six miles North of the practice's soon-to-open Whitney Museum.

More on the mixed-use structure after the break.

South facade. Image © Field Condition Southeast corner. Image © Field Condition Exterior Rendering. Image Courtesy of RPBW Exterior Rendering. Image Courtesy of RPBW + 7

The Interface of the Afterlife: Examining Cemeteries and Mausoleums in the 21st Century

The relationship between immortality and architecture is ancient one. Writing in The New Yorker, Alexandra Lange discusses the past and future of cemetery design in relation to a new exhibition on display in New York. Featuring a selection of 1300 individual mausoleum designs stored in Columbia University's archives, Lange notes how "patrons weren’t picky about originality. In the late nineteenth century, memorial companies might just bring back a shipment of angels from Carrara to be distributed among future clients." These "rural estates in miniature" eventually gave way to more contemporary designs which dabbled in Realism and Cubism. What will the people of today house their remains in? For Lange, "the design we take personal pleasure from everyday is now less likely to be architecture and more likely to be an interface." Read the article in full here.

And the Best US Architecture Schools for 2015 Are…

DesignIntelligence has released their 2015 rankings of the Best US Architecture Schools for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Over 1,400 professional practice organizations were surveyed and asked to respond to the question: “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which of the following schools are best preparing students for success in the profession?” In addition, more than 3,800 architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design students were also surveyed about their education, in data presented separately from the rankings.

However, perhaps more enlightening than the ranking itself are the firms' responses to several additional issues raised in the report.  For example, 54.6% of the firms surveyed selected sustainability and climate change as the professions’ biggest concern, while maintaining design quality was a close second.  Firms also provided insights on the most important qualities of new graduates entering the workplace, with an overwhelming 70.1% selecting attitude/personality as the most important attribute. 

Read on after the break for the Top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Event: "House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate"

House Housing is the first public presentation of a multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. Situated in the Casa Muraro in Venice and staged as an open house, the exhibition responds unsolicited to the proposal by Rem Koolhaas, curator of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, that architecture focus on its "fundamentals."

Plumber: Is This Not A Pipe? - Launch of Volume 37

Launch of Volume #37: "Is this not a pipe?".

Are Ivy League Schools Really Offering the Best Architectural Education?

In Design Intelligence's annual rankings of US Architecture Schools, released earlier this month, there is certainly a lot to talk about. Of course, plenty will be said about what is shown immediately by the statistics, and rightly so - but just as interesting is what is revealed between the lines of this report, about the schools themselves and the culture they exist within. By taking the opinions of professional architects, teachers and students, the Design Intelligence report exposes a complex network which, when examined closely enough, reveals what some might see as a worrying trend within architectural education.

From STEM To STEAM: The Value of Art

In a recent article for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Barney Mansavage champions the idea of transforming STEM into STEAM (Science, Technology, ART, and Mathematics). He argues that overlapping science and art helps launch cross-disciplinary conversations and relationships, and in turn, promote experimentation; he thus suggests that educational spaces be designed to bring these fields together. Check out the article here, and more about the TED talk that inspired it, here.

Mark Wigley Steps Down as Dean of Columbia University's GSAPP

Mark Wigley announced Monday that he will be stepping down as dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at the end of the academic year in 2014.