Columbia University School of Journalism, New York, NY

Recognizing the ascendancy of electronic communication, video broadcasting and computer-produced print, Columbia called on PKSB to convert its journalism building into The Center for New Media, the first such building of its kind. Conceived as a combination of flexible spaces gathered around a central hub, the school engages outstanding scholars who frequently win the Pulitzer Prize.

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Behind the McKim, Mead and White façade, the interior was radically reconfigured to accommodate emerging information technology systems and their space requirements. In order to facilitate an uninterrupted flow of information within the solid structure, the circulatory systems and technological networks determined the internal layout and its divisions. The architecture captures the movement of information by partially disclosing the cables and wiring contained within it. Using CAD technology, PKSB created diagrams that were layered over the open floor plans to generate a series of models towards a final design.


As rapid technological change is expected to continue, flexibility and adaptability were maximized. The World Room enables the introduction of an experimental curriculum where presentations, lectures, and conferences can be staged simultaneously using state-of-the-art equipment for research. Overall, the Center provides unrivaled facilities for students and faculty, and offers a progressive image for a school that remains at the head of its class.