Monday, September 26, 2005

Big Starchitect on Campus

Phat architecture schools in New York City are finally catching onto the starchitect trend, building a slew of new campus buildings – with one notable exception, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture. Times reporter Robin Pogrebin sums it up:

Aside from Mr. Holl's glass-and-concrete center at Pratt's School of Architecture, a new main building by Lyn Rice is rising at Parsons School of Design in Greenwich Village, and City College has thrown up construction tents around what is to become its new architecture hall in Harlem, designed by Rafael Viñoly. Next summer, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art will break ground on a $105 million expansion of its art studios and engineering school designed by the Los Angeles architect Thom Mayne.

Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture is currently housed in a lovely, old-fashioned ivy-league building called Avery Hall that has been marred by a “temporary” wheelchair ramp for years. Maybe Frank Gehry would be willing to redesign the wheelchair ramp along the lines of the his pedestrian bridge at Millennium Park in Chicago. Just a thought.