Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center

  • Lobby. Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux
  • Auditorium. Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux
  • Vagelos Education Center. Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux
  • Balcony. Photo Credit: Iwan Baan
  • At Night. Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux
  • Anatomy. Photo Credit: Iwan Baan
  • Simulation. Photo Credit: Jenny Gorman
  • Staircase. Photo Credit: Iwan Baan
  • Aerial View. Photo Credit: Iwan Baan

Photo credit (top image): Iwan Baan, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Photos in slideshow: Iwan Baan, Jenny Gorman, Nic Lehoux

About This Project

The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center is a new, state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building at Columbia University Medical Center’s campus. The building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect, is a 100,000-square- foot, 14-story glass tower that incorporates technologically advanced classrooms, collaboration spaces, and a modern simulation center to reflect how medicine is taught, learned, and practiced in the 21st century. The design seeks to reshape the look and feel of the Medical Center campus, and also, create spaces that facilitate the development of skills essential for modern medical practice. Read more about the building.

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If you are a member of the media and wish to inquire about the building, please contact CUMC Office of Communications & Public Affairs at

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Reservations & Catering

To reserve a room, please visit the 25Live room booking system.

Seeking catering for your event? Please contact the Faculty Club.



Columbia University Medical Center, 104 Haven Avenue, New York, NY 10032


Special Features

  • The Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) cladding panel system follows the trajectories of the cascade, and defines each “neighborhood” zone of the building.
  • Ceramic “frit” patterns and gradients are baked onto the north end of the building to filter and diffuse sunlight while mitigating solar gain.
  • Insulated stick built glass fin curtainwall with low-iron glass and low-e coating optimizes energy and allows for maximum transparency. Each of the glass fins is unique: length 1.2 to 9 m, depth 34 to 61 cm, build-up 3 x 10 / 12 / 15 mm, weight 70 kg to 620 kg.
  • Unitized aluminum mullion curtainwall with integrated GFRC elements clads the north end of the building.
  • The interior finishes of the study cascade include Douglas Fir wood veneer wall and ceiling panels; Douglas Fir end grain wood flooring; and solid wood millwork. Higher traffic areas use terrazzo flooring.
  • The West Court, a garden space shared between the new building and adjacent student residences, features local plant species from the Palisades, and views across the Hudson River and to the George Washington Bridge.
  • The building’s structural spine is a site-formed reinforced concrete vertical core, which provides shear capacity. In the cascade, there are reinforced architectural concrete columns with embedded steel-up girders. Post-tensioned, reinforced concrete slabs with embedded structural steel, and cobiax void- formers enable the long spans and cantilevers of the south facade.
  • The South Court, a new green space created by configuring the entry to the CUMC parking garage to create a landscaped garden with shaded seating areas and views of the Hudson River.

Study Cascade
A network of social and study spaces distributed across oversized landings along an open 14-story stair—a single, interconnected vertical space that extends from the lobby to the top of the building.

  • Sky Lounge: Intimate and informal gathering space for study groups
  • Active Learning Classrooms: Divided by operable partitions, these 30 / 60 person flexible spaces offer indirect sunlight and controlled views through continuous, full height windows. Flexible furniture configurations are made possible by distributed power and data at the floor, and suspended ceilings.
  • Stepped Lounge: A tiered study lounge (on floors 11-12 and 7-8) provides opportunity for formal and informal study.
  • Administration Suites: Office and support spaces for faculty and administration.
  • The Student Commons: A double-height space that features a café, lounge seating, and balconies for both social gatherings and independent study.
  • Study Spaces: A range of intimate lounge style and desk areas are distributed throughout the study cascade.
  • Anatomy Quad: Suspended booms with integrated screens and task lighting. Large footprint and central location allows for flexible use.
  • Multi-purpose Auditorium: A 263-seat flexible space used for campus wide events including lectures, screenings, events and concerts.
  • Special Event Space: 190 person classroom / flexible events space with catering support
  • Lobby: The space is formed by a seating area, café, and a “study bar” overlooking the outdoor courts
  • Simulation Suite: An open reception area with debriefing rooms and support spaces as well as further mock examination rooms, clinics, and operating rooms.



The Vagelos Education Center targets LEED Gold certification. Sustainable features include the following:

  • Environmental assets such as fixed and operable shading to optimize the regulation of daylighting and solar gain by program area
  • An innovative mechanical system designed to maximize tenant comfort and minimize energy and water use within the building
  • Green roof technologies that reduce the heat-generating effects of urban asphalt and concrete, lower building energy consumption, and recycle stormwater runoff
  • Use of native plantings adapted to the area’s sun and wind conditions to minimize irrigation requirements and produce year-round texture, color, and shelter.


Project Area

14-story tower + cellar and mechanical penthouse

  • Site dimensions: 125’ X 100’
  • Gross floor area: 110,000 SF
  • Zoned floor plate: 81,000 SF
  • Tower floor plate: 6,000 SF
  • Base floor plate: 12,500 SF
  • Total building height: 220’-0”


Key Dates 

Design Competition: March 2010
Groundbreaking: September 16, 2013
Opening Date: August 15, 2016


Project Team

Jose Santinho, Project Manager, Capital Project Management, CUMC Facilities Management
Farid Cardozo, President/Chief Operationg Officer, Group PMX
Elise Lontos, Associate Project Manager, Group PMX


Design Architect

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York, NY
Partner-in-Charge: Elizabeth Diller
Project Director: Anthony Saby


Executive Architect

Principal-in-Charge: Madeline Burke-Vigeland AIA, LEED AP
Project Manager: Kristian Gregerson AIA 



Structural Engineer
Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA)


MEP Engineer
Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)


SCAPE/Landscape Architecture


Curtain Wall Consultants
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers P.C.


Lighting Consultants
Tillotson Design Associates


Acoustic/Audio/Visual Consultants
Cerami & Associates, Inc.


Building Code Consultants
Milrose Consultants, Inc.


Elevator Consultants
Jenkins & Huntington, Inc. (JHI)


Graphic Designers
2x4 and Gensler


Civil/Geotechnical Engineers
Thornton Tomasetti, Weidlinger Transportation Practice


Security and IT Consultants
Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)


Sustainability Consultants
Vidaris Inc.


Foodservice Consultants
Cini-Little International, Inc.


Construction Managers
FJ Sciame Construction Co., Inc.


Owners Representative
Group PMX




Need Help? Contact Facilities Management

212-305-Help (4357), select 'Option 3'
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All other times, call Public Safety at
305-8100 for routine matters or
305-7979 for an on-campus emergency.

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Facilities Operations

650 West 168th Street
Black Building, Room B-02
New York, NY 10032
Tel: 212-305-4357 (Option 3)
Fax: (212) 305-1026

Parking Office

650 West 168th Street
Black Building
New York, NY 10032
Tel: 212-305-4357 (Option 7)
Fax: 212-305-1026

Columbia University
School of Nursing

Housing Services

50 Haven Avenue
Bard Hall, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10032
Tel: 212-304-7000
or 212-305-4357 (Option 2)


Vagelos Education Center

Service excellence through innovation, value, communication and quality.