New Building for Engineering

The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building rising on the northwestern-most corner of the Morningside campus received its “top” in December during a ceremony to put the final structural beam into place. President Lee C. Bollinger and other University representatives, including SEAS Vice Dean Morton B. Friedman, signed the beam before it was hoisted into its designated position.

CAD modeling of the campus level showing the new interdisciplinary science and engineering building in place. Chandler Hall is the building on the left. The Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (CEPSR) is on the near right, Pupin Physics Laboratory is adjacent to the new research building.
The new building occupies the former tennis courts, the last developable site on the campus, and sits atop the Levien Gymnasium portion of the Dodge Physical Fitness Center. It is situated between Chandler Hall on the Broadway side and Pupin Physics Laboratory on the 120th Street side. There will be a street entrance on 120th Street. Two glass-enclosed spaces are planned: one for a cafe just above street level and the other on the top floor of the building.

The 14-story building was designed by Rafael Moneo, the Spanish architect best known for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. The building is being built without any disruption to the Dodge Physical Fitness Center, the west end of which is directly beneath the new building. Three parallel trusses in the lower part of the building will take the weight of the floors above and distribute the load to columns that flank, but do not encroach upon, the underground basketball court of the Fitness Center. This engineering solution has created an open and unobstructed space under the trusses, which will house the science library.
The building will contain classrooms, faculty offices, and research space for faculty in engineering, biology, chemistry, and physics. An interdisciplinary approach to subject areas such as nanotechnology will benefit from having a facility that houses researchers from differing areas of specialty. Preliminary plans call for engineering faculty to have research space on at least two of the  seven upper floors of the building that will house laboratories.

“We are looking forward to having this additional research space,” said Interim Dean Gerald Navratil, “so that we will be able to continue to attract and retain faculty by offering them a premier environment in which to carry out their work.”