Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersGoldray Glass
ManufacturersPEDRALI
ManufacturersSteelcase
Manufacturers3form
Acoustical ceilingDecoustics
PaintsBenjamin Moore

Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
Manufacturers
by PEDRALI
Manufacturers
Manufacturers
by 3form
Acoustical ceiling
Paints

The Diana Center at Barnard College

WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism as Architects

Founded in 1889 as a women’s college affiliated with Columbia University, Barnard College is an intimate campus compressed within the dense urban environment of Manhattan. Comprised of an eclectic group of predominantly brick buildings, the campus is focused around Lehman Lawn at its core. Located on Broadway, the Diana Center unites landscape and architecture, interior and exterior spaces, presenting a window onto the College and the city. The 98,000-square-foot multiuse building establishes an innovative nexus for artistic, social, and intellectual life at the College, bringing together spaces for art, architecture, theater, and art history, as well as faculty offices, a dining room, and a café.


From the historic entrance gate at Broadway, the wedge-shaped design frames a clear sightline linking the central campus at Lehman Lawn to the lower level historic core of the campus. The Diana Center’s design extends Lehman Lawn horizontally and vertically: descending planted terraces cascade north to Milbank Hall, previously isolated by a 14-foot-high retaining wall and plaza, and ascending double-height atria bring natural light and views into the seven-story structure.


Rethinking the mixed-use building type, the Diana Center brings together the college’s previously dispersed programs and constituencies by setting up visual juxtapositions that invite collaboration between disciplines. Carving a diagonal void through the building, the ascending double-height glass atria establish continuous sightlines through the gallery, reading room, dining room, and café. Anchoring the lower levels, a 500-seat multipurpose events space and 100-seat black box theatre house lectures, special events, and theatrical productions. On the campus side of the building, an unfolded glazed staircase encourages informal encounters at the heart of a rich intellectual community and provides views to the surrounding campus. Conceived as a vertical campus quad, this cantilevered route interweaves the spaces of the building into those of the campus.


The building’s innovative enclosure establishes a reciprocal relationship between the campus context and the diverse program elements within the building. Squarely centered in a campus defined by brick and terra cotta, the Diana translates the static opacity of masonry into a contemporary luminous and energy-efficient curtain wall. 1,154 panels of varying widths calibrate gradients of color, opacity, and transparency to the Diana Center’s diverse programs, allowing views into the building’s public functions and limiting visibility where privacy is necessary. The translucent fritted glass and color integral panels create constant shifts in hue and reflectivity as the façade responds to various lighting and climate conditions.


Sustainability is integral to the conception of the design and supports the College’s effort to teach and practice environmental principles. The green roof offers a 2,800-square-foot ecological learning center for Barnard’s Biology and Environmental Science students as well as valuable new social space. The building maximizes daylight and views and incorporates operable windows, radiant flooring, and recycled materials. Occupancy sensors, automated shading, and high performance MEP systems increase efficiency.


The new student center utilizes landscape, views, light, and the dynamic layering of programs and activities to enhance the vitality of student and faculty life at Barnard. As a new luminous lens between campus and city, the Diana Center provides spaces for collaboration and interdisciplinary interaction, and recognizes the campus’s multiple histories while encouraging the college’s forward-looking education.

Barnard College: Diana Center

Goldray Glass as Manufacturers

Located on the Columbia University Campus, the Barnard College Diana Center is an award-winning project designed by New York Architects - Weiss/Manfredi. The seven-story multi-use arts center features a stunning architectural decorative glass facade which functions as both a standout design element and an energy-efficient exterior. When designing the building, Weiss/Manfredi aimed to remove visual boundaries, unifying the architecture and landscape and creating a space filled with natural light.


To further differentiate the design, Weiss/Manfredi installed the 1100 decorative glass panels in a varied pattern, creating an intricate curtain wall system. Although the complexity of the pattern defies easy recognition, there are only three types of decorative glass panels used in the building's curtain wall. It illustrates a portion of the chaos theory: simple systems can breed complexity. The result is a luminous decorative glass facade that emulates the brick and terra cotta colors of the neighboring buildings, while incorporating a modern twist.

"The colors of the silkscreened ceramic frit glass exterior enter into a conversation with the traditional buildings. The idea is a building that changes over the course of a day."  

The silkscreened ceramic frit glass panels used in the installation were designed with vertical striations graded from opaque to transparent to limit visual barriers and maximize daylighting. Design partner Marion Weiss of Weiss/Manfredi describes the effect as “The colors change depending how the light and its angle play with the etching, shifting from dull copper brown to copper red. The colors enter into a conversation with the traditional buildings. The idea is a building that changes over the course of a day.”

The recipient of awards from a national design competition, the National AIA, and Progressive Architecture, the Diana Center at Barnard College establishes an atmosphere that encourages social, cultural, and intellectual interactions on campus.

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