Columbia University Computer Science

New York, NY

This renovation, entailing both interior and exterior improvements, will have lasting impacts on both the functioning of this critical department and on the campus as a whole.

A top priority was to bring natural light into the lab spaces, which the department has made ad-hoc use of since the space was used as a data center. This change restores large window openings to the base of the 1978 Fairchild Building that were previously blocked. The new windows open up the building to the entrance plaza of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, greatly improving the pedestrian experience in the campus’s northeast corner.

The interior scope of work includes an 8,000 square-foot gut renovation of the department’s main teaching and research lab spaces, and an enlargement of its nerve center – the server room. The project also expands the main lecture room to seat 125, re-organizes the lab spaces, and adds a conference room. The lecture room and conference rooms feature full audio-visual capability, including lecture capture, webcasting and distance learning.

Major infrastructure upgrades were required by the server room expansion, which required a complex phasing plan to maintain the core functioning of the servers throughout the construction process.

Photography by Joan Tsen