Education Building Under Construction

A Sept. 16, 2013, groundbreaking ceremony launched the next phase of construction of the CUMC Medical and Graduate Education Building, a 14-story glass tower at 171st Street and Haven Avenue. Construction is expected to take 32 months.

The building’s pioneering design, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, has been described as “eye-catching,” “a major landmark in the skyline of northern Manhattan,” and “unorthodox for a medical school…in its reflection of a new more collaborative, team-based mode of teaching.” 

The building, which will create a more vibrant and cohesive campus, is being made possible by support from philanthropists Diana and P. Roy Vagelos’54; Philip L. and Cheryl Milstein; and the Helen and Clyde Wu’56 family. Representatives from each family attended the ceremony along with Columbia Trustee Kenneth Forde’59 and employees of the architecture firms and the construction company, Sciame.

The building will have 100,000 square feet of high-tech classroom facilities, including an advanced center for immersive, simulation-based medical education, innovative learning spaces for both collaboration and quiet study, and student amenities such as lounges, a café, and student commons. Sustainable features, designed to obtain LEED Gold certification, include clean building techniques, such as air and dust mitigation, noise and pest monitoring, and waste management.

Columbia plans to use a unionized construction work force made up of at least 35 percent minority, women, and local trades people.