Blueprint Awards 2017: The winners

Best Public-Use Project with Private Funding

Winner: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, USA
Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University, New York, USA

Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University, New York, USA

Judges’ Comments

‘Diller Scodio + Renfro have brought the social interaction of a traditional campus to a city building, with a graceful uidity of communal spaces.’ David Adjaye

‘The most successful built vertical public space so far.’Ben van Berkel

Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University, New York, USA

A single concrete slab rising from ground to roof serves as walls, floors and ceilings at this facility for Columbia Medical School. The 14-storey building is designed to promote interaction between students, staff and visitors, as well as between the campus and its surroundings in the Washington Heights neighbourhood. The building is based on the idea of a continuous surface that rolls up from the street to welcome students moving through the dense urban site. To enhance this sense of openness and connection with its surroundings, the tower’s south-facing elevation features a curtain wall that provides views of internal activities set against a backdrop of orange and ochre surfaces.

The architects described the spaces that follow the snaking concrete slab as a “Study Cascade’, with variously sized study and social areas arranged across a series of interconnected landings. These casual learning spaces open onto outdoor terraces and connect to clusters of classrooms, examination rooms and mock clinics that are grouped on the northern side of the building. A common room, lobby cafe and study bar are situated on the ground floor, with publicly accessible terraces augmenting the connection between the building and the street.

Fred A Bernstein visited the project for Blueprint and described its impact on this typical Manhattan streetscape as ‘a delirious doodle against the neighbourhood’s 3D grid,’ adding that, ‘if one of its purposes is to help the medical school announce its presence, it has already achieved that summa cum laude.’

Highly Commended

AL_A, UK
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisbon, Portugal

AL_A, UK Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisbon, Portugal

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, China
Suzhou Chapel, Suzhou, China

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, China Suzhou Chapel, Suzhou, China

Commended

Moneo Brock, Spain
Parish church in Pueblo Serena, Monterrey, Mexico

Moneo Brock, Spain Parish church in Pueblo Serena, Monterrey, Mexico

Finalists

AL_A, UK
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisbon, Portugal

C.F. Møller Architects, Denmark
Copenhagen International School Nordhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

Concrete, Netherlands
CitizenM Tower of London, London, UK

De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, USA
The Owsley Brown II History Center, Louisville, USA

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, USA
Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University, New York, USA

John McAslan + Partners, UK
The Bolshevik Factory, Moscow, Russia

Moneo Brock, Spain
Parish church in Pueblo Serena, Monterrey, Mexico

Moxon Architects, UK
Somers Town Bridge, London, UK

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, China
Suzhou Chapel, Suzhou, China

noa*, Italy
Hubertus Pool, Valdaora, Italy

Spheron Architects, UK
Belarusian Memorial Chapel, London, UK

Stanton Williams, UK
The Mailbox, Birmingham, UK

Steyn Studio, UK
Bosjes Chapel, Western Cape, South Africa

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