New York's latest, high-profile education building has opened on the campus of Columbia University Medical College in Washington Heights. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Gensler, the 14-story Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center houses classroom, simulation and training facilities for the college.
The building's iconic feature is the "Study Cascade," a south facing 14-story space, connected by a grand stair, with a variety of indoor spaces for individual and group interaction, outdoor rooms and terraces that foster collaborative learning amongst students and faculty. With the "Study Cascade" DS+R has sought to subvert the normative medical building typology by rethinking its circulation strategy, which the studio has focused on in a wide range of projects over the past few decades.
GFRC paneling and Douglas fir wood clad the solid forms of the "Study Cascade," while the transparency of floor-to-ceiling glass with glass fin supports allows for open views of Manhattan and the Hudson River.