Manhattanville: a new urban campus open to the city
Located at New York's Harlem west neighborhood, the new campus of Columbia University is launching a new generation of college campuses. Unlike the existing, new buildings do not appropriate their ground floor, but share it with the city.
Inhabited by functions open to the public, without any barrier with the city, the ground floor, called the "Urban Layer", is an urban level, transparent, permeable and light, giving the impression that buildings float above ground
The mix of functions, encompassing both science, art, communication, the global economy, as well as green spaces totally open to the neighborhood, creates sufficient critical mass to identify the campus from the first phase of the project.
Within this new campus, three buildings are already completed and open to the public:
- The Jerome L. Greene Science Center, a 45,000m² neuroscience laboratory that studies mind, brain and behavior ("Mind Brain Behavior");
- The Lenfest Center for the Arts, a 6,000m² art center with a School and Art Gallery;
- The Forum, a 6,500m² conference center with a 437-seat auditorium, meeting rooms and offices.
The campus will include two other buildings currently underway:
- The Site Four, which will include university programs including the "SIPA" (School of International and Public Affairs);
- The Zero Site, a set of university residences.
Sustainable development is an integral part of design. The building envelope responds to the issues raised by the site, the urban and environmental context, and incorporates other elements such as acoustics, natural light and sunshine.
About the speaker
Antoine Chaaya is a DPLG Architect, Partner/Director based at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop-Paris. He was born in Lebanon in 1960, and studied architecture at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK)-Lebanon. He joined RPBW Paris in 1987 and became Partner in 1997. A. Chaaya worked as lead architect on a variety of projects including the Kanak Cultural Center in New Caledonia and the Potsdamer Platz project in Berlin.
He has been the partner in charge of many projects including the “Il Sole 24 Ore” headquarters- Milan, The Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) and the Resnick Pavilion both at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – California, Phase I of the new Columbia University Manhattanville Campus-New York, comprised of The Jerome L. Greene Science center, the Lenfest Center of the Arts, the Forum, Site O and Site 4. As well as a residential project in Miami-Florida, The headquarters of the SGBL Bank in Beirut Lebanon; The Beirut City Museum-Lebanon; And The Headquarters of Gaumont Pathé-Paris.
A.Chaaya was appointed as a member of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop board in 2014.
He has been elected distinguished alumni at The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and has been nominated Patron of the class of young architects 2017. He received a new distinction in Dec 2018.
Honorary member of the Lebanese Green Buildings Council (LGBC), he has lectured in France, Italy, Denmark, Lebanon, and the USA, including talks at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, as well as the AIA –NY.