The architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro has designed a 14-story tower of study and social spaces for Columbia University Medical Center’s new medical and graduate education building in Washington Heights.
The design, to be released on Wednesday, is unorthodox for a medical school not only in its verticality and sculptural treatment of exposed interiors but also, according to the architects, in its reflection of a new more collaborative, team-based mode of teaching.
“It’s like a vertical landscape, a vertical living room,” said Elizabeth Diller, one of the firm’s principals. “For us it was a great opportunity to think about an educational building that had a different kind of logic and take advantage of a fantastically small footprint.”
The architecture firm Gensler is the architect of record for the building, working with the DS+R team on technical aspects of the project including construction documents.