Posts tagged with "Columbia University Medical Center":

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DS+R’s Vagelos Center masterfully balances verticality, high-tech medicine, and spaces for learning

It is easy to walk through the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center of Columbia University Medical Center by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and forget that one is on a campus. Where are the large lecture halls with auditorium seating? Is there really no cafeteria? Surely a medical and graduate education building requires dedicated spaces to accommodate the differences between orthopedics and cardiology? Although the building contains a dramatic auditorium with a spectacular view of the Hudson River, the Palisades, and the George Washington Bridge—not to mention a donated grand piano ready to be rolled in for concerts—it eschews traditional classrooms in favor of “active learning classrooms” with operable partitions.

Exterior terraces, stepped lounges, and the sky lounge on the top floor create a visually and kinesthetically beguiling feast of nooks and corners for conversation and the exchange of ideas. Although permeated by the most advanced media technology, which can disseminate the latest research or procedure to every screen in the school, its spirit is that of an ancient academy in which small groups of students and teachers collaborate, talk, listen, and learn. One can easily imagine distraught medical students finding comfort after their first anatomical dissections in one of the many study spaces or in the double-height student commons. In this building, the micro and the macro, the cell and the city, obtain a wondrous harmony.

That this 100,000-square-foot, 14-story tower is the tallest building yet realized by DS+R—and one of the rare medical school facilities designed as an integral vertical structure—inevitably raises the question of how successfully the architects have negotiated the jump to a larger scale and the challenge of building a Manhattan high-rise. Happily, nothing in the Vagelos Center, except perhaps the somewhat perfunctory lobby, misses a beat, from the circulation and separation of complex programs, to the small footplate that creates intimacy by eliminating long and alienating corridors, to the soundproofing that admits city sounds while maintaining a welcome quiet. The “study cascade” side of the tower evokes the “folded noodle” of the architects’ unrealized design for the Eyebeam, here subject to a rigorous logic that is likely to establish this building as the textbook example of a design strategy much discussed in the late 1990s and early 21st century but not often realized effectively.

One has come to expect unexpected design elements and technical solutions in a DS+R building. An anatomy classroom with glazed walls and views of the river, a load-bearing column through which one can walk, a landscaped garden space open to surrounding student residences, ceramic “frit” patterns on the north end of the building to filter and diffuse sunlight, and an exterior cladding panel system of glass-fiber-reinforced concrete do not disappoint in this regard. The architects, long known for their concern with the visual arts, performance, and media technology, designed the Mary and Michael Jaharis Simulation Center—about 18 percent of the building, where future physicians train with computerized whole-body mannequins and watch video footage—with a humility that reinforces the astonishment of watching medical robots perform open-heart surgery or deliver babies.

Nearly four decades since Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio began the collaboration that today is DS+R, they have completed their most perfectly resolved building, an amalgam of their interests and the lessons learned from earlier projects, such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Lincoln Center, and the Juilliard School. The flexibility of the Granoff Center arts building at Brown University, completed in 2011, is taken to an entirely new level.

Deftly balancing reality and simulation, dialogue and image, science and art, the Vagelos Center is joyous and life-affirming, qualities all too often absent today in architecture and medicine. During a summer with no apparent end to bad news, it is a signal event and a credible ground for optimism.

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See Iwan Baan’s photos of DS+R’s Vagelos Education Center

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) with Gensler as executive architect, the Vagelos Education Center is filled with high-tech classrooms and facilities meant to keep Columbia University's medical students at their field's cutting edge. The Architect's Newspaper has already covered the center's facade design, and our upcoming regional East issue (available September 7) will feature a full "Crit" by professor, editor, and scholar Edward Dimendberg. We've included an excerpt of that article below, and in the meantime, enjoy the Iwan Baan pics!

This 100,000-square-foot, 14-story tower—the tallest realized by DS+R and one of the rare medical school facilities designed as an integral vertical structure—inevitably raises the question of how successfully DS+R has negotiated the jump to the larger scale and challenge of a Manhattan high-rise. Happily, nothing in the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, except perhaps the somewhat perfunctory lobby, misses a beat, from the circulation and separation of complex programs to the small footplate that eliminates long, alienating corridors and the soundproofing that admits city sounds while maintaining a welcome silence. The "study cascade" side of the tower evokes the "folded noodle" of DS+R’s unrealized Eyebeam design. But here, it is subject to a rigorous logic that is likely to establish the Vagelos Center as a textbook example of a much discussed design strategy, in the late 1990s and early twenty-first century, but not often realized in an effective and definitive form.

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First look at DS+R’s new 14-story “Study Cascade” at Columbia University Medical Center

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  The Vagelos Education Center is a new state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building at Columbia University Medical Center. The building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect, 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 and create spaces that facilitate a medical education. The project, which broke ground in September 2013, comes amidst a wider campus revitalization plan for CUMC that involves increases to green space, renovations to existing buildings, and the construction of new facilities. All new construction and renovation projects within this plan work toward the goal of minimizing CUMC’s carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025. On a larger scale, the Vagelos Education Center will help to define the northern edge of the campus, providing a bridge to the surrounding Washington Heights community. In a press release, Elizabeth Diller, founding partner at DS+R said, “Space matters for structured and informal learning. To support Columbia’s progressive medical education program, we designed a building that will nurture collaboration.” This is reflected in the most captivating feature of the building: A highly transparent south-facing 14-story “Study Cascade,” designed to be conducive to team-based learning and teaching, that opens onto south-facing outdoor spaces and terraces. The organization of the interior spaces produces a network of social and study “neighborhoods” distributed along an exposed, interconnected vertical staircase that extends the height of the building.
  • Facade Manufacturer Josef Gartner (Glass Fin Curtainwall); Permasteelisa North America, (Unitized Curtainwall)
  • Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (design architect); Gensler (executive architect)
  • Facade Installer Josef Gartner (Glass Fin Curtainwall); Permasteelisa North America, (Unitized Curtainwall)
  • Facade Consultants Buro Happold Consulting Engineers P.C. (curtain wall)
  • Location New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System GFRC panels, Unitized aluminum mullion curtain wall, and an insulated stick built glass fin curtainwall enclosing a reinforced concrete core with post-tensioned concrete slabs
  • Products Bischoff Glastechnik AG (glass) ; Josef Gartner (glass fin curtainwall); Permasteelisa North America (unitized curtainwall); David Kucera Inc. (precast glass fiber reinforced concrete cladding), IMETCO (metal panels); Bilfinger (metal screen); Resysta Tru Grain Wood Composite (exterior wood); Blumcraft / C.R.Laurence (doors)
DS+R’s design takes advantage of an incredible view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. The building is composed of cantilevered post-tensioned concrete slabs cast with Cobiax void formers to achieve a lighter weight long span system. These slabs form the basis of the Study Cascade, and spring from a site-formed reinforced concrete core providing structural shear capacity for the building. The vertical core programmatically divides the education center into two halves: a south-facing active collaborative zone, and a north-facing series of specialized spaces that include classrooms, administrative offices, and a “Simulation Center” of mock examination and operating rooms. The facade system works to visually express these two types of spaces from the exterior. The Study Cascade reads more as a continuous unfolding of the ground plane in large part due to a highly transparent stick-built curtainwall system that incorporates glass fin supports, low iron glass, and a low-e coating. GFRC paneling follows the trajectories of the formal folds of the slab edges, further defining each interior zone. Around the side and rear of the building, at the location of specialized educational spaces, the slabs normalize into a more typical repetitive spacing, and are clad with a unitized aluminum mullion curtainwall integrated with GFRC elements to provide a more controlled day lit environment. Ceramic frit glazing, set in one large gradient pattern, transitions from transparent to opaque along the side elevation, filtering and diffusing sunlight while mitigating solar gain. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the building integrates a range of sustainable features, such as locally sourced materials, green roof technologies, and an innovative mechanical system that minimizes energy and water use. In addition to specialized glazing coatings and assemblies, the facade incorporates both fixed and operable shading to optimize the regulation of daylighting and solar gain by program area. “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 Madeline 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.”