Located on the corner of West 218th street and Broadway—the northernmost edge of Manhattan, where Broadway crosses with Tenth Avenue and the elevated tracks of the 1 subway line—the Campbell Sports Center forms a new gateway to the Baker Athletics Complex, the primary athletics facility for the Columbia University’s outdoor sports program.
The first new athletics building to be constructed on Columbia University’s campus since the Marcellus Hartley Dodge Physical Fitness Center was built in the mid-1970s, the Campbell Sports Center will be the new cornerstone of the revitalized Baker Athletics Complex and provides increased program space for the entire intercollegiate athletics program. The facility, which adds approximately 48,000 square foot of space, houses strength and conditioning spaces, offices for varsity sports, theater-style meeting rooms, a hospitality suite and student-athlete study rooms.
The Campbell Sports Center aims at serving the mind, the body and the mind/body for aspiring scholar-athletes. The design concept “points on the ground, lines in space”—like field play diagrams used for football, soccer, and baseball—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. The building shapes an urban corner on Broadway and 218th street, then lifts up to form a portal, connecting the playing field with the streetscape.
Extending over a stepped landscape, blue soffits heighten the openness of the urban scale portico to the Baker Athletics Complex. Terraces and external stairs, which serve as “lines in space,” draw the field play onto and into the building and give views from the upper levels over the field and Manhattan.
With an exposed concrete and steel structure and a sanded aluminum facade, the building connects back to Baker Field’s unique history. In 1693, The Kings Bridge, which spanned the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, was the main access rout into Manhattan. The current infrastructure of the Broadway Bridge carries the elevated subway, and Broadway, with a lift capacity of hundreds of tons. Its detail and structure are reflected in the Campbell Sports Center.Location: New York, USA Architect: Steven Holl Architects | Steven Holl, Chris McVoy (design architect), Chris McVoy (partner in charge), Olaf Schmidt (associate in charge), Marcus Carter, Christiane Deptolla, Peter Englaender, Runar Halldorsson, Jackie Luk, Filipe Taboada, Dimitra Tsachrelia, Ebbie Wisecarver (project team)
Program: strength and conditioning spaces, offices for varsity sports, theaterstyle meeting rooms, a hospitality suite, and student-athlete study rooms. Project type: direct commission Major materials: Precast concrete plank on steel frame structure; open joint rain screen façade, sanded, anodized flat plate aluminum panels; flush glazed curtain wall; exposed concrete plank finish on interior and perforated bamboo paneling in auditorium and hospitality suite Building area (square): 48000 sf /4459 sqm Client: Columbia University Construction manager: Structuretone / Pavarini McGovern Structural engineer: Robert Silman Associates Mep engineer: ICOR Associates Civil engineer: Hirani Engineering Sustainability engineer: Transsolar Curtain wall consultant: W.J. Higgins Lighting consultant: Wald Studio Audio/visual consultant: The Clarient Group Acoustical consultant: Cerami Associates Code consultant: Design 2147 Limited Cost: Davis Langdon Specifications: Construction Specifications Inc. Precast plank: Conewago Steel: Weir Welding Facade fabrication: Architectural Wall Systems Facade installation: City Newark Glass Photos: Chris McVoy, Iwan Baan