Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School's new home will span approximately 492,000 square feet across two buildings and will reflect the fast-paced, high-tech and highly social character of business in the 21st century. The two new facilities will create multifunctional spaces that foster a sense of community—spaces where students, faculty, alumni and practitioners can gather to exchange ideas. Between the two buildings will be the largest planned open area in phase 1 of construction—an approximately 40,000-square-foot area known as The Square.

Columbia Business School artistic rendering

The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation and the Henry R. Kravis Building

Both buildings are the result of landmark gifts of $125 million from alumnus Henry R. Kravis, cofounder, cochairman and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and cochair of the School’s Board of Overseers, and $100 million from Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. and a member of the School’s Board of Overseers.

Artistic renderings of Columbia Business School interior and exterior

High-Tech and Highly Social

The structures are designed by the renowned New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXCollaborative as executive architect and Harlem-based AARRIS ATEPA Architects, a certified Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE), as associate architect. The firms' ideas-based approach to architecture complements the School’s operating principle for the Manhattanville campus—that the project is not about bricks and mortar, but rather about transforming the School, business education and business itself.

Artistic rendering of Columbia Business School faculty lounge

Designed for Flexibility

The designs include spaces that encourage the development of social intelligence skills and collaboration across disciplines, flexible classroom space with the latest technology, dedicated spaces for recruiting, events and networking and an alumni welcome center.  Recognizing that creativity, innovation and communication—skills often nurtured in informal environments—are as important to contemporary business school pedagogy as the traditional, quantitative skills best taught in a classroom, the building’s internal spaces are organized around two distinct networks that foster informal interaction between the student and faculty of the school. Each network is a combination of circulation routes, lounge spaces, dining facilities and study rooms that facilitate planned and unplanned interaction 24 hours a day. 

Where these networks meet the landscape at the street-level urban layer, major public spaces are established: in one building, a two-story, urban-scale living room, and in the other, a terraced interior space that doubles as a 300-seat large conference space.