The Renzo Piano-designed Forum, the third building on Columbia's Manhattanville campus, is here

Updated: Nov 26, 2020


The Forum is the third building to rise on Columbia's Manhattanville campus

The Renzo Piano-designed Forum, the third building to rise on Columbia's growing Manhattanville campus, opened today and will now begin serving as a university meeting area, conference center, and site for a variety of academic and public programs.

The Forum is the third building to rise on Columbia's Manhattanville campus
The Forum is the third building to rise on Columbia's Manhattanville campus

The ground floor, which features a cafe offering light meals like oatmeal for breakfast and soup and sandwiches for lunch, will be fully open to the public. It is wrapped in glass and intentionally transparent, building on the idea of a new style of campus that's more accessible and integrated into the neighborhood.

The ground floor of Renzo Piano's Forum is encased in glass
The Cafe at the Forum is a place to get a coffee and a light bite

The other two floors, covered along the front in precast concrete, house the 437-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, and sunny offices to be used by groups like the Obama Foundation Scholars.

Orange carpets cover the second and third floors of Renzo Piano's Forum at Columbia University

Piano is the famed Italian architect whose vision is also behind the two neighboring Columbia buildings dedicated to science and the arts.

Meeting spaces at Renzo Piano's Forum have open views of the surrounding West Harlem neighborhood
Meeting spaces at Renzo Piano's Forum have open views of the surrounding West Harlem neighborhood

At the opening event this afternoon, university president Lee Bollinger likened the triangular, 56,000-square-foot Forum to a "ship set to sail."

Architect Renzo Piano gives a tour of his latest building, The Forum at Columbia University

Take a walk around–and through–the building on the corner of Broadway and 125th Street and see if you agree. As Piano noted before a tour of the building, "Architecture talks by itself."

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