The Forum, Manhattanville Campus, New York, USA

As the third building of the new Columbia University Manhattanville Campus, The Forum complements the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts by adding “communication” to the mix of functions represented in Phase 1 of the new campus.

The Forum Front, Manhattanville. Photography: ©Frank Oudeman / Columbia University.

The highly transparent, luminous and active ground floor level of this three-storey building is permeable and open to the public. In addition to the lobby function for the auditorium above, this level which we call the Urban Layer could house café’s, restaurants, and other public functions. Along the south side, fritted glass canopies help protect pedestrians from rain and the interior spaces from direct sunlight, as well as helping to articulate the scale of the building at the pedestrian level.

The Forum, Manhattanville. Photography: ©Frank Oudeman / Columbia University.

The highly transparent, luminous and active ground floor level of this three-storey building is permeable and open to the public. In addition to the lobby function for the auditorium above, this level which we call the Urban Layer could house café’s, restaurants, and other public functions. Along the south side, fritted glass canopies help protect pedestrians from rain and the interior spaces from direct sunlight, as well as helping to articulate the scale of the building at the pedestrian level.

The Forum, Auditorium. Manhattanville. Photography: ©Frank Oudeman / Columbia University.

The opaque volume of the auditorium is expressed with a prefabricated concrete skin, whereas the offices, which require daylight, are expressed with a glazed facade, and the transparent ground floor is both conceptually and physically open to the public. Mechanical systems are expressed on the roof of the building. The building looks like a ship levitating above the light and transparent Urban Layer.

The Forum, Work Area. Manhattanville. Photography: ©Frank Oudeman / Columbia University.

The Forum can also be said to complete the architectural and material language/palette of Phase I of the new Manhattanville Campus: −The highly transparent Jerome L Greene Science Center is like a crystal made mostly with “Glass”; −The program of the Lenfest Center required a more opaque enclosure, is made with “Aluminum” panels; −The Forum is using the “Concrete” for the opaque part of the building.

The Forum and Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Manhattanville. Photography: ©Frank Oudeman / Columbia University.

Together with the remaining buildings of the Campus, they will be part of the first LEED platinum rated campus plan in the country (under the USGBC’s LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system).

RPBW, Manhattanville Campus Plan, USA ©RPBW.