The Vagelos Education Center
By Kirsten Kiser
The Vagelos Education Center is a new, state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building at Columbia University Medical Center. The design seeks to reshape the look and feel of the Medical Center, and to create spaces that facilitate the development of skills essential for modern medical practice.
The Lobby, formed by a seating area, cafe, and a “study bar” overlooking the outdoor courts, relates to its urban context.
The Study Cascade, a network of social and study spaces is 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. An intimate and informal Sky Lounge serves as a gathering space for study groups.
The multi-purpose auditorium, a 275-seat flexible space is used for campus-wide events including lectures, screenings, and concerts.The Anatomy lab has panoramic views of the city.
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.
Ceramic “frit” patterns and gradients are baked onto the north end of the building to filter and diffuse sunlight while mitigating solar gain.