About the Architect

In 2011, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, in consultation with Dean Glenn Hubbard and members of the Columbia Business School Board of Overseers, has selected Elizabeth Diller of the New York–based Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design the School’s new facilities in Manhattanville.

Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, CC ’60, were the first architects to receive MacArthur Fellowships (commonly known as “genius grants”), and their career-long innovations earned them a major retrospective, The Aberrant Architectures of Diller + Scofidio, at the Whitney Museum in 2003. Charles Renfro joined Diller and Scofidio in leading the firm in 2004, and together they have demonstrated a profound ability to translate ideas and concepts into boundary-stretching designs.

The firm’s ideas-based approach to architecture complements the School’s operating principle for the Manhattanville Campus — that the project is not about bricks and mortar, but rather about transforming the School, business education, and business itself. Designing buildings and outdoor spaces that foster collaboration and communication will enable students, faculty members, alumni, and neighboring communities to work together to solve complex problems that transcend disciplines, creating ideas that will improve business practice on a global scale.

Columbia Business School will be housed in two brand new buildings with a campus square between them. Diller’s designs will include spaces that encourage the development of social-intelligence skills and collaboration across disciplines, flexible classroom space with the latest technology, dedicated spaces for recruiting, events, and networking, and an alumni welcome center.

Some of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s many notable works include the redesign of Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the expansion of the Julliard School, the High Line park in New York City’s Meatpacking District, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and Switzerland’s Blur Building.

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