Vagelos education center by Diller Scofidio + Renfro opens in New York

Vagelos education center by Diller Scofidio + Renfro opens in New York

Designed by diller scofidio + renfro, in collaboration with gensler as executive architect, the vagelos education center is a medical and graduate education building at new york’s columbia university medical center. the structure forms a 100,000-square-foot, 14-story glass tower that incorporates a range of classrooms and collaboration spaces, as well as a modern simulation center. now complete, the complex has been documented in new images taken by photographer Iwan Baan. an important part of DS+R’s design is the ‘study cascade’, a network of spaces distributed across oversized landings along an open 14-story stair — a single, interconnected vertical space that extends from the lobby to the top of the building. these areas open onto south-facing outdoor spaces and terraces. other aspects of the building include ‘academic neighborhoods’ — groups of classrooms that can be easily be reconfigured — and a 275-seat multi-purpose auditorium. the building also integrates a range of sustainable features, including locally sourced materials, green roof technologies, and a mechanical system that minimizes energy and water use. even the façade features ceramic ‘frit’ patterns, baked onto the exterior glazing to diffuse sunlight. the vagelos education center works toward the goal of minimizing CUMC’s carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025. ‘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.’ 

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