In 2016 Columbia University's campus on Haven Avenue between West 171st and 172nd streets will welcome a striking new Medical and Graduate Education Building. The 14-story, 100,000 square foot center will be used by students from all four CUMC schools, P&S, Nursing, Dental Medicine and the Mailman School of Public Health, as well as the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. To encourage interaction between the various schools, Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed the "Study Cascade," a single, interconnected space that spans the full height of the building with a completely transparent glass façade.
The massive stairwell includes "a network of social and study spaces distributed across oversize landings... conducive to team-based learning teaching." The "Study Cascade" will be dotted with outdoor rooms and terraces clad with cement panels and wood. DS+R's plans also include a "high-tech medical simulation center" to enable hands-on learning. In addition to introducing a fresh, innovative approach to academic architecture, the building will also serve as a university landmark at the northernmost point of the medical campus. I love how the façade exposes the interior like a cross section of the building, but looking at the renderings in the 90° weather we're having in NY at the moment, I just wonder how they'll combat the heat let in by all that glass. Thoughts?