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University Selects Davis Brody Bond Aedas as the Architect of Record
for Proposed Manhattanville Expansion

Columbia University announced the selection of architectural firm Davis Brody Bond Aedas to work alongside design architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop to help create the first phase of Columbia’s proposed expansion in the old manufacturing area of Manhattanville in West Harlem.

Max Bond
Max Bond, standing, with colleagues
John Henle, far left, William Paxson
and Daniella Atwell

“Davis Brody Bond Aedas is known for its creative work. Under the leadership of Max Bond and his partners Steven Davis, William Paxson, Carl Krebs, and Christopher Grabé, this firm has a strong record of incorporating and balancing competing needs,” said Philip Pitruzzello, Columbia’s vice president of Manhattanville development. “I am confident that along with design architect Renzo Piano, Davis Brody Bond Aedas, as the architect of record, will be able to incorporate the historical significance of Harlem into the proposed Columbia expansion and create a thriving urban landscape that will be a welcoming environment for everyone.”

“As one of the partners in the Davis Brody Bond Aedas firm, I look forward to my role in helping to shape this area of West Harlem,” said Bond, former professor and chair of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture. “For more than two decades, people have tried to develop this area, I feel fortunate to be part of the team that will create the campus of the future -- one that welcomes the community, meets the needs of a great university like Columbia, and contributes to the future of New York City.”

To further the University’s goal of engaging minority-, women- and locally owned contractors, Body Lawson Associates, a minority-owned architectural firm based in Harlem, will work with Davis Brody Bond Aedas. The 14-year-old firm is led by Victor Body-Lawson, who received his master of architecture degree from Columbia, was a former assistant professor of architecture at Yale University and was a board member of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). “My staff and I are pleased to be a part of the project team on this historical undertaking,” said Body-Lawson.

The selection of Davis Brody Bond Aedas as the architect of record follows the selection of Bovis Lend Lease and the McKissack Group as the construction management team for the preparation, approval process, and construction of the first phase of Columbia’s proposed expansion in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem. Led by Cheryl McKissack, the McKissack Group is the oldest minority-owned construction firm in the nation and shares with Bovis Lend Lease a long-term commitment to helping local and minority companies and workers participate in major construction projects.

The site of the proposed expansion of University facilities is a 17-acre area just north of Columbia’s historic Morningside Heights campus and consists primarily of the four large blocks from 129th to 133rd Streets between Broadway and 12th Avenue, including the north side of 125th Street. The new facilities would also include three properties on the east side of Broadway from 131st to 134th Streets. The majority of the construction in the initial phase of the proposed project will occur on the block bounded by 129th and 125th Streets on the south and 130th Street on the north, between 12th Avenue and Broadway. The scope of work slated for this block includes construction of three new buildings: the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Columbia Graduate School of Business, and an academic mixed-use facility known as the Lantern Building.

Columbia projects that the expansion in Manhattanville will create 6,000 new University jobs, as well as an average of 1,200 construction jobs per year for nearly a quarter century. The University has a strong record of employing community residents with a wide range of skills and experience in the workforce, as well as the engagement of minority-, women-, and locally owned contractors. For example, in 2006, Columbia contracted more than $65 million in construction, repair, and maintenance services with minority-, women-, or locally owned firms, representing more than one-third of University spending on these services.

Davis Brody Bond Aedas is the design architect for the World Trade Center Memorial Museum and is executing the design of the World Trade Center Memorial site. The New York City-based firm has been honored with more than 100 major design awards including the AIA Firm Award, the highest honor given to an architectural practice, as well as the 2000 Presidential Award for Design Excellence. Other major New York City projects include the restoration and expansion of New York Public Library, the Rose Building at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Ichan Medical Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and University Hall at New York University.

The firm has had significant involvement in the reshaping of Upper Manhattan and its portfolio includes the planning and design of the Audubon Technology and Research Park, the restoration of the Audubon Ballroom and the Malcolm X Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Strivers Gardens, Harlem Children’s Zone, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the New York City Structural Biology Center on the campus of City College.

The University’s proposed expansion is currently undergoing the city’s public approval process, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. For more information on the proposed Manhattanville expansion, visit www.campusplan.columbia.edu.

Published: June 29, 2007
Last modified: Jul 19, 2007