Columbia University Studebaker Hall

New York, New York

210,000 SF

Expanding the reach of Columbia University with a clean, modern and sun-drenched office building in a uniquely converted industrial space.

An adaptive re-use and multi-phase project, this 210,000 square foot historical building, previously a car manufacturing plant, was converted into the Studebaker Building at Columbia University, one of the first buildings completed in the Manhattanville Initiative. The Switzer Group sought to expose and express the beauty of the existing structure, including its terracotta and brick exterior, the mushroom columns, tall windows, and aluminum gridded windows. A quiet and understated building, the work environment was primarily fitted-out for office use to support the University, including the Manhattanville Group, Finance Department and Columbia University Information Technology, and was upgraded to become energy-efficient, with 2 floors obtaining LEED Silver certification.

Specifically, the 6th floor of the building was designed by The Switzer Group to employ clear glass partitions for the offices and low work stations, which maximize the natural light and views of the Hudson River. Prioritizing collaboration, small team rooms, large conference rooms and other informal meeting spaces were widely integrated with the traditional workstations and private offices. Additionally, the floor houses space for the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, for which a mediascape environment was designed. Featuring a flat-screen television with easy-to-use connectivity surrounded by soft benches and stools, this unique environment offers workers a convenient, informal place to meet, present and share information. The café is also fitted-out with advanced connectivity and digital media, providing an additional area for informal collaborative work in addition to a space for breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks.

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Walt Disney