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Columbia University Prentis Hall Renovation Feasibility Study

Manhattan, New York

Urbahn’s design permits the total relocation of the Graduate School of the Arts to the Nash Building, which was built in 1929 as a Nash Motor Company automotive assembly plant.  We designed the retrofit of multiple floors to house Visual Arts, Sound Arts, Computer Music, Film, and the Center for Jazz Studies.  Our design provides first-rate facilities while establishing an environment that catalyzes interdisciplinary collaboration.  In addition to the 40 visual arts and 6 sound arts studios, the program includes specialty shops (woodworking, metal, laser cutting and CNC, and ceramics), recording, sound stage, film production, and classrooms.  Most studios are located at the perimeter, flooding them with natural light.  Informal social and interaction spaces are carved out of “found space” such as the outmoded car ramp.  In addition to comprehensive systems infrastructure upgrades, our design augments vertical circulation through the installation of two new elevators.

Client: Columbia University Board of Trustees
Graphics: Urbahn Architects PLLC