Earlier this year, Columbia Business School relocated to the Manhattanville campus, moving into a pair of cutting-edge new buildings, Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall, designed by the architecture firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FX Collaborative. (Read reflections from architect Charles Renfro ’94GSAPP.)
The two buildings, situated on the block that stretches from Broadway to Twelfth Avenue and from 130th to 131st Streets in West Harlem, together provide Columbia Business School with nearly half a million square feet of space, roughly doubling its previous capacity.
“Modern business practice is increasingly collaborative and non-siloed,” says Costis Maglaras, the dean of the school. “Our new, open, light-filled spaces reflect this reality, creating a truly collaborative and immersive experience that is unique to Columbia Business School and ideal for a curriculum that prioritizes team and interdisciplinary work, acting as a nexus across the University and beyond, in areas including health care, climate change, digital transformation, and the interface between business and society.”
The new facilities are also expected to strengthen the business school’s ties to the surrounding Harlem community, with a public park connecting the buildings, retail spaces, and civic programming. For example, the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, which has helped more than four hundred local entrepreneurs develop their businesses, now has a dedicated space in Geffen Hall.
The opening of the new business school buildings marks the completion of the first phase of a seventeen-acre Manhattanville campus development that was initiated two decades ago by President Lee C. Bollinger and represents the University’s most significant expansion in a century. The eleven-story Henry R. Kravis Hall and eight-story David Geffen Hall are the fourth and fifth new buildings erected on the campus, after the completion of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts in 2017 and the Forum in 2018. A campus master plan created by the firm of Italian architect Renzo Piano ’14HON envisions several more Columbia buildings eventually going up on the Manhattanville campus in future phases of development.
The construction of the business-school buildings was supported by naming gifts from private-equity pioneer Henry R. Kravis ’69BUS and entertainment executive David Geffen. In total, more than five hundred donors gave to the project.
“Quite simply, our move to Manhattanville would not have happened without the support of each and every philanthropic contribution from our generous community members,” says Maglaras.
The business school’s move has also freed up space in Uris Hall, its previous home, for programs within Arts and Sciences.