Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center

An Award-Winning, Visionary Space

The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center is a state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building that reflects how medicine is taught, learned, and practiced in the 21st century. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler as the executive architect, this 14-story glass tower interweaves technologically advanced classrooms, collaboration spaces, and a modern simulation center.

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Space Reservations

To reserve a room at the Vagelos Education Center, see the 25Live room booking system

For other inquiries, review the Vagelos Education Center FAQs and Policies. If you have any additional questions about available spaces, email


The Faculty Club provides high-quality professional catering services for all events at the Vagelos Education Center.

About the Project

Fact Sheet

Project Location

104 Haven Ave.

Special Features

  • The Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) cladding panel system follows the trajectories of the cascade and defines each “neighborhood” zone of the building.
  • Ceramic “frit” patterns and gradients are baked onto the north end of the building to filter and diffuse sunlight while mitigating solar gain.
  • An insulated stick built glass fin curtainwall with low-iron glass and low-e coating optimizes energy and allows for maximum transparency. Each of the glass fins is unique.
  • A unitized aluminum mullion curtainwall with integrated GFRC elements clads the north end of the building.
  • The interior finishes of the study cascade include Douglas Fir wood veneer wall and ceiling panels, Douglas Fir end grain wood flooring, and solid wood millwork. Higher traffic areas use terrazzo flooring.
  • The West Court, a garden space shared between the new building and adjacent student residences, features local plant species from the Palisades and views of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge.
  • The building’s structural spine is a site-formed reinforced concrete vertical core, which provides shear capacity. In the cascade, there are reinforced architectural concrete columns with embedded steel-up girders. Post-tensioned, reinforced concrete slabs with embedded structural steel and cobiax void-formers enable the long spans and cantilevers of the south facade.
  • The South Court, a new green space created by configuring the entry to the Columbia University Medical Center parking garage to create a landscaped garden with shaded seating areas and views of the Hudson River

Study Cascade

This network of social and study spaces is distributed across oversized landings along an open 14-story stair—a single, interconnected vertical space that extends from the lobby to the top of the building.

  • Sky Lounge: An intimate and informal gathering space for study groups
  • Active learning classrooms: Divided by operable partitions, these 30-60 person spaces offer indirect sunlight and controlled views through continuous, full-height windows. Flexible furniture configurations are enabled by distributed power and data at the floor and suspended ceilings.
  • Stepped lounge: This tiered study lounge on the 7th-8th and 11th-12th floors provides opportunities for formal and informal study.
  • Administration suites: Office and support spaces for faculty and administration
  • The Student Commons: A double-height space that features a café, lounge seating, and balconies for both social gatherings and independent study
  • Study spaces: A range of lounge-style and desk areas are distributed throughout the study cascade.
  • Anatomy quad: Suspended booms with integrated screens and task lighting. The central location allows for flexible use.
  • Multi-purpose auditorium: A 263-seat flexible space used for campus-wide events like lectures, screenings, events, and concerts
  • Special event space: 190 person classroom/flexible events space with catering support
  • Lobby: The space is formed by a seating area, café, and a “study bar” overlooking the outdoor courts
  • Simulation suite: An open reception area with debriefing rooms and support spaces as well as further mock examination rooms, clinics, and operating rooms.


The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center was awarded LEED Gold for sustainable construction. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. Sustainable features include:

  • Environmental assets like fixed and operable shading optimize the regulation of daylighting and solar gain by program area
  • An innovative mechanical system designed to maximize tenant comfort and minimize energy and water use within the building
  • Green roof technologies reduce the heat-generating effects of urban asphalt and concrete, decrease building energy consumption, and recycle stormwater runoff
  • Native plantings adapted to the area’s sun and wind conditions minimize irrigation requirements and produce year-round texture, color, and shelter

Architectural Details

  • Project Area: 14-story tower and cellar and mechanical penthouse
  • Site dimensions: 125’ x 100’
  • Gross floor area: 110,000 square feet
  • Zoned floor plate: 81,000 square feet
  • Tower floor plate: 6,000 square feet
  • Base floor plate: 12,500 square feet
  • Total building height: 220’-0”

Key Dates

  • Design competition: March 2010
  • Ground breaking: September 16, 2013
  • Opening date: August 15, 2016

Project Team

  • Design Architect
    • Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York, NY
    • Partner-in-Charge: Elizabeth Diller
    • Project Director: Anthony Saby
  • Executive Architect
    • GENSLER, New York, NY
    • Principal-in-Charge: Madeline Burke-Vigeland AIA, LEED AP
    • Project Manager: Kristian Gregerson AIA
  • Structural Engineer: Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA)
  • MEP Engineer: Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
  • Landscape/Architect: SCAPE/Landscape Architecture
  • Curtain Wall Consultants: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers P.C.
  • Lighting Consultants: Tillotson Design Associates
  • Acoustic, Audio, and Visual Consultant: Cerami & Associates, Inc.
  • Building Code Consultants: Milrose Consultants, Inc.
  • Elevator Consultants: Jenkins & Huntington, Inc. (JHI)
  • Graphic Designers: 2x4 and Gensler
  • Civil and Geotechnical Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti, Weidlinger Transportation Practice
  • Security and IT Consultants: Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
  • Sustainability Consultants: Vidaris Inc.
  • Food Service Consultants: Cini-Little International, Inc.
  • Construction Managers: FJ Sciame Construction Co., Inc.
  • Owners Representative: Group PMX


Media Coverage