Columbia University, Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

New York, New York

Columbia University wanted a lively and energetic environment for the Industrial Engineering & Operations Research Department in the engineering school to enhance student and faculty recruitment.

Situated in a 1960s, 15-story academic building, the space had numerous small rooms with painted cinder-block walls. The gut renovation created a lecture hall, seminar room, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$182.00FEATURED IN2007 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior RenovationSUB CATEGORYRenovation and graduate student offices, computer room and common areas.

The central design goal was to express the elegant, efficient and innovative operational systems that are created by the department. In the lecture hall, this was accomplished by a combination of metallic finishes, strong horizontal lines and vibrant color. Other spaces, such as the seminar room, utilize the same aesthetic, thereby unifying the interior.

The centerpiece of the department is the 74-person lecture hall with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology. Superb acoustics were created by careful location of absorptive and reflective surfaces throughout, including perforated metal soffits. Limited head height made introduction of a new raked floor and new HVAC systems particularly challenging.