Vagelos Education Center wraps up 2016 best in class

December 16, 2016
Vagelos Education Center exterior view

The much-anticipated Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, which opened to wide praise in August 2016, has won The Architect’s Newspaper's 2016 Best of Design Award in Façade.

Jury members elevated the Vagelos Education Center for its innovation, creative use of technology, sustainable features, and superb design. Matt Shaw, the publication’s senior editor, expressed awe at seeing the original plans realized in concrete and glass: “This is a rare example of when the completed project looks better than the renderings. The complexity of the continuous floor plates with the glass infill is as visually stunning as it was undoubtedly difficult to execute.”

December has also brought significant nods from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times’s architecture critic Michael Kimmelman included the Vagelos Education Center in his rundown of the best architecture in New York of 2016, alongside another Columbia construction, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center on the Manhattanville campus. “It’s what medical schools generally aren’t: playful, welcoming, warm,” he writes. “And when the sun sets, the center becomes a beacon in the neighborhood.”

In her review of architecture coast-to-coast, Julie V. Iovine, the Wall Street Journal’s architecture critic and former executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, named the Vagelos Education Center among the best of 2016. “Architecture is at its best when it succeeds at giving physical shape to the stories and ideas important to a culture,” she writes, and praises the new building for its vision: “[It] encapsulates with dynamic elegance some of the latest thinking on how to foster teaching and the exchange of ideas.”

Photo credit: Pavel Bendov