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Columbia’s $6.3-billion Manhattanville campus will consume 6.8 million square feet of academic space in a former industrial area on the far west side between 125th Street and 133rd Street. A multi-phase project, it will be several decades before the full scope of the new campus becomes a reality, but the university expects to begin operating there as early as Spring 2017. The master plan calls for an open campus with no walls or gates, as a tangible representation of the university’s commitment to education without barriers. All of the new campus buildings will be open to the public, and street-level rooms will be available for community use, with retail stores and restaurants as well.

Related: Columbia University now boasts 18,180 square feet of on-campus green roofs 

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“When we committed ourselves to the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem, we knew it would be essential for Columbia to use this opportunity to build exceptional spaces for our mission of teaching, research and creativity that make a difference in the world, and to do so in a way that benefits our city and community,” said Bollinger in a statement about the campus dedication. “We are creating a different kind of academic space than in the past, designed for the cross-disciplinary interaction that is crucial to new knowledge, within an open, accessible urban campus that encourages the University and community to engage with and strengthen one another.”

One of the first buildings to open on the Manhattanville campus will also be the university’s largest new construction. The 450,000-square-foot Jerome L. Greene Science Center is a nine-story building with a subterranean level, and the center will house neuroscience researchers of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. The building will also feature a community wellness center and a hands-on education lab where members of the community and K-12 schools can learn about brain science.

+ Columbia University – Manhattanville Campus

+ Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Images via Columbia University