Columbia University’s imposing Jerome L. Greene Science Center at its new Manhattanville campus is just months away from opening, and the Wall Street Journal recently stopped by at the nine-story Renzo Piano-designed structure to see how construction was progressing.
For the most part, this 450,000 square foot structure will be home to the university’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, which will have its labs on the upper floors of the building. Another critical aspect of the building however is also the publicly accessible ground floor which comes with 30-foot-tall ceilings, a restaurant, a cafe, and maybe even a recreational center.
A lab space at the building will also host programs focused on brain research for middle and high school students. There are also plans for a community wellness center that can train volunteers to raise awareness about various health issues.
The building, noted for its exposed steel beams, also houses a 25-foot-wide corridor, which will be accessible to the public and be fitted with digital screens highlighting brain research, and provide views of the elevated 1 train track on one side, and the Hudson River on the other.
The Manhattanville Campus spans 17-acres and the master plan for the site was designed by Piano in collaboration with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Apart from the Science Center, there are three other buildings that make up the campus. The Lenfest Center for the Arts will open next year, followed by the University Forum and Academic Conference Center in 2018, and finally the new home of the University’s Business School, which will open in 2021. That building is being designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro along with FXFOWLE Architects.