The design for Diller Scofido + Renfro’s new building at Columbia’s med school has been unveiled and it is impressive. The building is scheduled to break ground early next year and be completed sometime in 2016. Diller Scofido + Renfro is collaborating with Gensler on this, which is great. Neither role (interiors and architects,) can really function without the other, so it’s always nice to see these designers working together to create great space.
In the press statement, DS+R describe their strategy as the “Study Cascade.” Each space functions as part of an enormous staircase, allowing a seamless flow between the various areas of study. In their words, “the Study Cascade creates a single interconnected space the height of the building, stretching from the ground floor lobby to the top of the building, and conducive to collaborative, team-based learning and teaching.” DEFINITELY sounds like a space that needs the help of some interior designers.
The most striking aspect of the building is the way that the facade has been pulled back to reveal all the spaces inside. It has been described on various design blogs as having a dollhouse effect. We love it because of the conceptual connection between physical transparency and educational spaces.