This weekend, Columbia University broke ground on its new Campbell Sports Center, a gateway into the university's Baker Field athletic complex at the northern tip of Manhattan. The 48,000-square-foot building occupies a site at 218th Street and Broadway, next to the elevated 1 train tracks heading into the Bronx. It's certainly assertive: made of exposed steel and concrete, marine aluminum rainscreen, and a flush-glazed curtain wall, the structure calls to mind both concrete block field houses and European cultural centers. Architect Steven Holl's office describes the design concept as “'points on the ground, lines in space'—like field play diagrams used for football, soccer, baseball." External stairs and graduated terraces extend the field play up and into the building, with a vantage point looking onto the majority of Manhattan. At night, the building is up-lit with glowing light on its "Columbia-blue aluminum soffits."
We'll be keeping a close eye on this one: despite initial community resistance, it's expected to open in the not-so-very-distant Fall 2012.
· Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University Starts Construction [Steven Holl Architects]
· Campbell Sports Center coverage [Curbed]