Barnard College, one of the prestigious 'Seven Sisters' schools on the East Coast, made a bold eco statement this last year with its newest arts center located on Broadway Ave in Manhattan. Named after a former student who donated 1/3 of the cost of the building, the Diana Center includes a long checklist of green building strategies that meet LEED Silver standards. Since its opening in February, the green-roofed building has won a Progressive Architecture Award as well as the AIA New York State "Award of Excellence" and the "Best in New York State" award.
The Diana Center is a relatively small campus made up of architecturally-varied buildings, located on Broadway in Morningside Heights. The college was relatively cut-off from the surrounding neighborhood, so Weiss/Manfredi were brought in to design a multi-use arts center that unifies the campus and creates an innovative center for campus life.
The new 98,000 square-foot campus building includes multiple arts programs like architecture and painting studios, a 500-seat performance space, and a black box theater. The center also features a cafe and a reading room in addition to classrooms and exhibition galleries.
The seven-story building also features a multitude of green building strategies — enough to earn the project LEED Silver certification. Most notably, the roof is partially covered in green lawn, and the previously-paved plaza surrounding the building has been converted to landscaped terraces.
Low-flow water fixtures are featured throughout the building, and the climate is controlled by an energy-efficient HVAC system with heat exchangers and radiant floor heating. Automatic lighting controls dim the CFL lights during the day, when light streams in through the optimized brick colored curtain wall exterior. Eco friendly materials like low- or no-VOC paints and furniture were used, and all the interior materials are recycled or fully recyclable and were regionally-sourced whenever possible.