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  • 10.25.11

To Design A Gym For Columbia, Steven Holl Looks To Football Diagrams

The design riffs off of field diagrams, turning the cryptic stuff of a coach’s playbook into boxy volumes, terraces, and zig-zagging stairwells.

Columbia University broke ground on a bold new sports complex in northern Manhattan recently. The design, by New York starchitect Steven Holl, riffs off of football and basketball diagrams, turning the cryptic stuff of a coach’s playbook into boxy volumes, terraces, and zig-zagging stairwells.

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Per the press release:

The design concept ‘points on the ground, lines in space’… develops from point foundations on the sloping site. Just as points and lines in diagrams yield the physical push and pull on the field, the building’s elevations push and pull in space.

Curbed reports that the 48,000-square-foot Campbell Sports Center will be made of exposed steel and concrete, with a flush-glazed curtain wall and Columbia-blue aluminum soffits. It’ll include offices for football and varsity sports, space for strength training and conditioning, athlete lockers, and an auditorium, among other amenities.

The building’s expected to be completed by next fall–a blink of the eye in construction years. Think they’ll actually get it done in time? After all, executing a play has never been Columbia’s forte.

[Images courtesy of Steven Holl Architects]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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