The ISB’s Celebratory Slide Show

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CityRoom has a snazzy slideshow thing depicting the excitement surrouning the “topping off” of the new Interdisciplinary Science Building, located on 120th and Broadway. 

Look: there is Future You, in the library — exactly as you are right now. Comforting, kind of.

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  1. these

    pictures have been up on rafael moneo/turner's website thing for a while. i think some of the pictures are on as well.

  2. tired  

    Is that a children's library? Those books behind the couch are very big, bright and look illustrated.

  3. sometimes  

    magazine covers are very big, bright, and look illustrated.

  4. hey

    are those escalators in picture 3?

    the building looks promising. i hope it doesn't suck.

  5. still  

    looks really really uggo.

  6. Each picture,

    I could not help but ask myself, "Which of these buildings does not fit in with the rest?"

  7. why  

    is this building so hideous!?!

    • Alum

      It's not ugly really, but it's completely out of context. It's also out of scale. Something like this would probably have fit in better in Manhattanville.

      • it is  

        both ugly and in context with buildings on the north side of campus or as I like to call that end of campus... the ass side of campus. Both because it is ugly and because SEAS kids never shower and smell like ass.

  8. dfausodhfasoidufsa  

    Im freakng out!!!

  9. Seas kid  

    Sighhhh.... People bitch about lack of modernization of the Dead White Men in the Core but then they bitch when something modern and cutting edge actually comes to Columbia.

    Also, this is a SCIENCE building, meant to be progressive and edgy. Not stagnant

    • Alum

      Do you really think the only alternative to this is stagnation? That's a false dichotomy.

      It's possible to build a modern building that complements the older buildings around it. Fairchild, for example, was a cutting edge building when it went up 30 years ago but it works quite well with its surroundings. This one could have done likewise -- and would have if the people in charge had their priorities straight.

      Some of CU's biggest architectural blunders succeeded in being modern by the standards of their day but just don't work in context. Uris, Greene and International Affairs leap to mind. Even buildings like Carman and Mudd, which at least tried to engage the older buildings on campus, don't hold up well over time. The new building will probably fare no better when people look at it decades from now.

      • ....  

        oh please. name any building that was built in the 60s or 70s that wasn't complete ass.

        as much as i hate defending this place on any count, the architectural wonders that sprung up over the past 30 years were not indicative of a local incompetence, but rather a dark national trend.

  10. yesman  

    i think it's pretty. postmodern architecture > modern architecture

  11. not an alum

    In my opinion, the upper campus used to look quite beautiful before this new structure was erected. The emptiness-- if you will-- that the building has taken away served a very important aesthetic purpose. I suppose the next thing they might want to do is build something in front of Butler, or perhaps on that bridge over Amsterdam.

    • Alum

      I agree that having nothing there was nice, but it was inevitable that something would be built there someday. That has been part of the campus master plan since the 19th century.

      Nothing will ever go up in front of Butler. The master plan calls for that space to remain an open quad, and the uproar if CU tried to build there would be unbelievable.

      CU actually once thought of building something on the Amsterdam bridge/plaza, but more recently has been seriously considering removing most of it to restore light and openness to the street below. I'm not saying this is likely, but it could happen.

      • bah

        it's also been on the campus master plan to build a twin to avery in front of math, but it's unlikely to happen. the view over the tennis courts toward riverside church and uts was columbia's little slice of oxbridge. instead one is now face to face with this fortresslike death star of a mad scientist's laboratory.

        • Alum

          Even a smaller, more contextual building would have blocked the view. Besides, as pleasant as the view was, no one ever just hung around there soaking it in. Columbia needs the new building much more than it needed that particular view.

          Also, to some extent it may be possible to see all the way through the new building. An obstructed version of the view may survive.

          The twins of Hartley, Wallach, Furnald and (especially) Avery are unlikely to ever be built. Columbia has been lukewarm for decades to the idea of building on those sites, and its most recent development plans leave most of them empty. (They do propose to someday build a twin to Wallach, though perhaps shorter to mirror the east wing of Lerner.) The university has always said, however, that it would build something on the NW corner site. Dodge Fitness Center was built, at great expense, to handle the weight of a large building on its roof. The only open questions were when this would happen and what would end up on the site. (For a while Columbia considered putting a vertical expansion of the gym there instead of a science building.)

          • could  

            you explain? Hartley and Wallach already twins... and Why would Furnald and Avery need twins? Where would they go?

          • Alum

            The twin of Avery would go in front of Mathematics. The twins of the three dorms would go in front of them; the eastern facade of Furnald's twin would line up with the eastern facades of Carman, Lerner, Journalism, Dodge, etc. The western facades of the Hartley & Walach twins would line up with the western facades of John Jay, Hamilton, Kent, etc.

  12. actually

    if they're going to go ahead and put things where they've been planned for decades, can we get that riverside park stadium now?

  13. NROTC,8599,1866669,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-full-nation

    Learned Foote gets another quote, and apparently someone from Time was sitting on the Low steps with the rest of us during obamacain.

  14. arrow  

    YEAH GO NEW BUILDING that won't be here even two years after I graduate. mm.

  15. ...  

    that said, wow, i just looked at the slide show.

    it really can't get any uglier than that,

  16. cranky  

    I guess Mudd and IAB won't be the ugliest buildings in Morningside anymore.

  17. building fail!

    But Moneo emphasized that the architectural style of existing buildings would be the determining factor in the building's design. "The campus is strong enough for helping you to figure out what to do there," he said.


    "It's not only classrooms and passive spaces," said Moneo, describing his vision for the building. "It's to solve the gap between [120th Street] and the campus itself, to make easy the movement of the people."


    Ann McDermott, professor of biological sciences, chemical engineering, and chemistry, emphasized the necessity of weighing special and technical requirements of the building carefully.
    "The building is not for 10 years, it's for 100 years," McDermott said.

  18. limewire  

    I personally think that Columbia should be spending a lot more time fixing up the campus. Pupin, for example, isn't a terrible building, but have you seen the area in front of it lately? It's disgusting -- there are broken, dirty tiles all over the place. And the inside of Pupin -- along with the insides of dozens of other buildings on campus -- also leaves a lot to be desired. Taker Havemeyer Hall, for example. The room is an antique, but it looks run down.

  19. Hmm...  

    After carefully weighing everything that's been said here...

    Building's still pretty effing ugly.

    But of course things like this were always going to be built on the campus, ever since they all but abandoned the master plan. It's silly to even talk about the old plan for cute little quads because there's no way it will ever happen--apparently all college buildings have to immediately look "new" and "progressive" or they're not doing their job. Sad.

    There's a place for modern architecture, like, everywhere else on earth...can't we keep a little of that harmonious traditional look that was so important until the ridiculous 60s?

    Also, #14, this isn't postmodern...postmodern is ugly for its own reasons, but actually might look better in this situation than the gray, prison-like thing they're building.

  20. twins

    look at the original campus master plan:

    the twins of hartley and wallach would be built across van am quad, between it and south field. the twin of avery would be between uris and math.

  21. respondeat

    1) Maintaining a 100 year old campus is not easy. More importantly it's expensive. Columbia just doesn't have the money to do a proper job:

    2) As for 60s and 70s architecture - check out Lincoln Center. The same guy designed Greene and IAB. The difference is that Columbia's mid-century buildings were built for utilitarian Deans who didn't want to waste money on a fancy looking building. There was a CCT column about Ferris Booth Hall and how students used to compare it to Loeb Drama Center at Harvard. One's still standing and considered an excellent example of 60s design.

    3) You can find drawings in archived copies of the relevant Spectator issue, but here's a rundown on the gym-above-dodge:

  22. displeased  

    OH NOOOOOO! That library is going to look just as IKEA-cheap as does the one in SEAS. Please put some more effort into this, Columbia.

  23. I like  

    how people think their bitching actually matters. Your opinion doesn't matter. Go scream in a vacuum.

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