Columbia Business School

The new home for Columbia’s School of Business is based on an exchange of ideas and social interactions combined with advanced technology. The project is the centerpiece of Columbia University’s master plan for its new campus, a mixed–use academic hub that will provide a long–term future of shared opportunity by linking a vital educational institution to the economic, intellectual, social, and cultural life of its neighborhood and city.
The structures are designed by the renowned New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro (DS+R) in collaboration with FXCollaborative (formerly FXFOWLE Architects) as executive architect and Harlem-based associate architect AARRIS ATEPA Architects. While obvious by the modern appearance in the renderings, the project is not about typical bricks and mortar. There is actually an underlying theme about transforming the School, business education, and the nature of business itself through the buildings integrated flows and expressions of form.
The school tapped Turner Construction as the construction manager but needed a trusted, specialized partner when it came to the sophisticated design and techniques for constructing the primarily glass outer appearance. The team selected W&W Glass as the overall facade supplier and erector who teamed up with IDA International Inc. of Derby, CT installing the Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) portion of the building and AZA INT – responsible for design, engineering, and fabrication of the glass facade systems, which was the preferred Italian manufacturer selected by W&W Glass for this specific project.
The new structures at Columbia include a very high level of system coordination and integration for their facades, combining multiple components, installation trades, and companies. There is a significant amount of Business Information Modeling (BIM) that is crucial to this project, as the facades at times bring together three different manufacturers’ products in the same plane. The bespoke design calls for an intricate meshing of glass systems, metal panel, and GFRC panels. The key manufacturers are located in different countries, with glass manufactured in Europe and the curtain wall systems manufacturer AZA INT fabricating products in northern Italy. The solution proposed by AZA INT meets the design needs and stringent performance criteria required for this project. It was especially important for these products to have excellent acoustics to cut down on traffic/road noise. The fabricated glass products themselves will be sourced from both Germany and Spain, depending on the facade type. There are three different 4-sided structurally-glazed curtain wall types being used on the buildings: a stick built aluminum mullion system, a unitized aluminum curtain wall system, and a unitized system fastened onto laminated glass/steel vertical mullions. Overall, the total project requires almost 162,000 sqft of curtain wall.
The excitement for the project is continuously building as excavation and foundations are underway, but the finished product is not scheduled for completion until 2021. Stay tuned for more information as the project progresses!

Client: W&W Glass


Columbia Business School

New York

Scope of Work:
Unitize Facade – customized
162.000 Sq. Feet – (15.000 Mq.)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Fx Fowle


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Building envelopes, glass & metal constructions


AZA INT Corporation
184 east 7th street
New York, NY 10009


t. +1 212.228.8972
f. +1 212.228.5702


AZA INT Corporation
27-01 Queens Plaza N
Long Island City, NY 11101


t. +1 212.228.8972
f. +1 212.228.5702

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