Gallery: Architect Steven Holl Designs a New Sports Center for Columbia...

Steven Holl is one of the most well-known and respected architects in the world-- not to mention one of Inhabitat's favorite interview subjects of all time! While his innovative designs can be found across the globe, he has returned to New York to grace Manhattan with yet another showstopper. Holl and his associates broke ground this week on the new Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University. The massive project will be a new green face for the recreational side of Columbia, combining strong and dynamic building elements for the students to enjoy.

The Campbell Sports Center is planned to serve as a gateway to the iconic Baker Athletics Complex, the university’s outdoor sports plaza on the northern tip of Manhattan. Sprawling 48,000 square feet, the center includes strength training spaces, offices, lounges, study rooms, and an auditorium. Standing five stories tall, the new building will tower over the above-ground 1 train line on the corner of 218th and Broadway. Anyone heading up to the Bronx certainly with not miss this amazing new building.

Holl wanted the sports center’s design to reflect the body and mind of its occupants. The zig-zag staircases and jagged edges are similar to the hand drawn plays quickly drawn in football and basketball games. This active energy is captured in the various open levels of the building, with corridors darting from one side to the next.

The materials used for the building are raw and strong like its university athletes. The exterior will reveal exposed concrete and steel as well as marine aluminum, an element known for being low in maintenance but high in strength. Rain screen cladding will keep the building’s interior temperature mild throughout all seasons by reducing moisture infiltration during the wetter seasons. Curtain walling is another innovative technique that will be implemented by Holl. It uses light and cheap materials such as glass and steel to capture and transfer harsh winds away from the building. With this combination, students can work out, practice, and study without being bothered by the elements.

Like any building in New York, one detail of utmost importance is the view. The sports center includes a number of terraces extending out over the building and practice fields. Each terrace boasts panoramic views of most of Manhattan. And what is a university building without a little school spirit? Each terrace is illuminated at night with “Columbia Blue” beams shining from the overhangs.

The Campbell Sports Center is planned to open in the fall of 2012, just in time for a great sports season!

+ Steven Holl Architects

+ Columbia Campbell Sports Center

Images courtesy Steven Holl Architects


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