Sep

14

Law School Poised to Conquer Revson Plaza

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Well not Revson Plaza, really. What do you call that spot on the EC/SIPA/Law School plaza that’s right behind the Law School and looks down into the Wien courtyard? As of sometime in 2011, you’ll call it the fancy new Law School extension, and if you have Law Library privileges, you’ll call it “the reading room that looks like Star Trek mission control.”

The expansion plans are the doing of Ennead Architects, a firm previously known as the Polshek Partnership. They are responsible under that name for well-known projects such as The Standard Hotel (the one over the High Line) and a number of expansions and redesigns of already iconic buildings like Carnegie Hall. Neither Ennead nor the Law Library could be reached for comment, but full plans for the expansion currently appear on Ennead’s website.

The plans calls for an addition that blends into the modern facade of the existing building, emphasizing vertical and minimizes horizontal lines. The addition departs, however, from its host structure in medium – the panels in between the vertical fins you see below are made of glass, and so are those fins themselves. Click through the plan drawings to get a better sense of the new space (be warned, you’ll be prompted to get the latest Adobe Flash if you don’t have it). Here’s another view:

Seats at the long tables probably give an excellent view of sky and surroundings, from a flying boardroom sort of perspective. How cool it would be to drive the law school spaceship – from your newly designed, state-of-the art, full-visibility cockpit – straight into Wien and then into the heavens!

Screenshots from ennead.com

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9 Comments

  1. This is actually  

    a pretty good idea. it transforms the desolate wasteland of a *terrace* which currently languishes behind the law school into a usable space, and improves the surrounding exterior spaces. By reducing the "fortified" feel of the elevated plaza, eliminating the setback and creating a light, airy facade which fronts the Wien courtyard, it could do for the east facade of the building what the addition on the south side tried to do for 116th street. It would be even better if the north end of the reading room had a door opening onto the plaza towards IAB (unlikely for security reasons), and if that ridiculous little turret next to the EC entrance could be replaced with an exterior staircase connecting Revson plaza with currently disjointed Wien courtyard. And hopefully those trees in the rendering don't disappear; that plaza needs landscaping (green roof anyone?) if it is ever to become something more than a soul-sucking modernist void.

  2. BETTER IDEA!!  

    Theres enough books in the school. They should either 1) put an open air heated swimming pool for the summer (or evening winter parties- the steam from the water would look pretty cool) 2) put a soccer cage there for 5v5 games, try getting space in dodge... never happens or 3) an on campus, profit free student bar!

    • Alum

      A swimming pool? I hope you're not serious. That would wipe out the lecture halls under the plaza, and probably the library stacks below ground. The law school would never agree to do that.

      • He's completely serious

        And I am too. We should build a waterpark instead, with a slide that stretches across the campus to the roof of SIPA! Get rid of the books by scanning them and putting them on ipads. Lecture halls? Now they're virtual lecture halls, accessible from your bedroom!

  3. why

    another law school addition? I guess they just want to eventually conceal the current building behind as many little accretions as possible.

  4. Even More Serious

    Columbia should invest in a flatbed scanner the size of Canada and scan every book in the library with one click of a button. This will allow us digitally store all of the books so we can demo the Law Library, allowing room for the aforementioned heated party pool and adjacent aquatic facilities, the most notable of which being the trio of epic 15 story water slides that will begin atop EC, IAB, and Wein, joining together in a braid formation before dispersing users into the new pool. As an added bonus, this will show Barnard and its Nexus that we can really ball architecturally on our side of Broadway--there are no water features at Barnard.

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