Design Goals

This schematic model shows how proposed new University buildings will be of varied heights, none of them taller than existing structures in the area such as 3333 Broadway, seen here at the top of the model, or 560 Riverside Dr., bottom left.

In addition to providing the foundation for a thriving community for people across the economic spectrum, the design of new facilities in the project area will accomplish other goals:

  • retain the existing street grid and improve pedestrian access to the area
  • ensure that new construction does not exceed current building heights
  • require buildings to be set back from the street to create wider sidewalks and allow more light to enter the area
  • enhance access to and views of the waterfront
  • add roughly 94,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space

In addition, the ground floors of all buildings along Broadway, Twelfth Avenue, and 125th Street will provide space for local businesses bringing needed amenities and jobs to the area.

Revised zoning will also ensure that the height of newly constructed buildings will be varied and will not exceed the height of buildings currently in the area.

The ground floors of all buildings along Broadway, Twelfth Avenue, and 125th Street will provide space for local businesses bringing needed amenities and jobs to the area.

More open space and greater accessibility

Columbia's development of this area will add approximately 94,000 square feet of open space and will be implemented in consideration of other development projects that will affect the area, such as the new West Harlem Piers waterfront park. New trees planted along all cross streets between Broadway and Twelfth Avenue, as well as along those main thoroughfares, will add greenery to streets where it is currently lacking.

The resulting wider sidewalks will be more pedestrian-friendly and increase accessibility to the new waterfront park, as well as the stores and shops that will line Broadway, Twelfth Avenue, and 125th Street.

The University's expansion will add roughly 94,000 square feet of open space that will be accessible to everyone in the community.

Some of the activities that might take place in the new open spaces include:

  • street fairs
  • art exhibits
  • picnics
  • public seating
  • activities for small children and their parents
  • University events

The square will be open to the general public.

Two conceptual views of the large square: the first of the café corner, looking northeast toward Studebaker from the southwest corner of the square; the other of the speakers corner looking west toward Twelfth Avenue.

A cross section and an elevation of West 130th Street between Broadway and Twelfth Avenue

Zoning diagram for east side of Broadway from 131st Street to 134th Street

Illustrative section of Broadway, from 125th Street to 134th Street, looking east

Building and below-grade space use

The illustrative site plans below indicate probable uses for each of the buildings inside the project area. Academic buildings will house classrooms, lecture halls, departmental offices and other administrative functions. Active ground floor usage will provide space for local businesses that add needed amenities and services, including shopping and dining, to the area. The kinds of academic inquiry carried out in these buildings will include a range of endeavors, from laboratory research to scholarly investigations involving language, history, culture, and the arts—the kind of cutting-edge research that makes Columbia one of the top universities in the world.

Building use site plan

Below-grade space use site plan