Columbia Business School Wins the 2023 Prix Versailles World Title Special Award in Campuses Category

December 22, 2023

Columbia University’s new Business School buildings – Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall – received the 2023 Prix Versailles World Special prize in the category of a campus for interior as part of the Prix Versailles awards.

The esteemed annual architectural competition and its World Judges panel recognized the Business School buildings based on design principles the United Nations holds in high regards, including innovation, creativity, sustainability, the reflection of local heritage and ecological efficiency.

Columbia Business School spans 492,000 square feet across two buildings, Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FX Collaborative, the new buildings invert the typical organization of building populations by shuffling alternating floors of faculty and administrative offices with student learning spaces, fostering an environment to gather and exchange ideas. The School’s collaborative spaces are organized around intersecting vertical networks of circulation and collaborative learning environments which create a continuous space of constant vibrant interaction.

A person walks down a staircase that is situated in the middle of an administrative floor.

“Winning the Prix Versailles competition is another prestigious accolade the new Business School has earned, affirming the innovative design in its form, function, and environmental efficiency,” said Hany Ayoub, Deputy Vice President for Columbia’s Manhattanville Development Group. “On behalf of the Business School and Columbia University, I congratulate and thank the design team, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FX Collaborative, along with the buildings’ project, construction, and professional teams for making this project the success that it is.”

Engagement with the city and surrounding West Harlem community is fundamental to Columbia Business School’s design. Henry R. Kravis Hall features Samberg Commons, an urban-scale living room with tiered, undulating seating for breakout meetings, lunch, and studying, as well as micro retail spaces available on the ground floor to support local entrepreneurs. David Geffen Hall is home to Cooperman Commons, an auditorium that acts as a day-to-day gathering space and can host large-scale events, and a public café.  In between the buildings is The Square, a 40,000 square-foot public green space that can hold outdoor gatherings, lectures, meetings, and performances, and is equipped with Wi-Fi and power outlets to provide technology and power connectivity for the community. 

Similar to other new buildings constructed at the Manhattanville campus, Columbia Business School earned LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The project received the rating by utilizing a wide range of sustainable construction and design strategies, including leveraging site advantages, optimizing energy performance, improving indoor air quality, and more.

In addition to the Prix Versailles recognition, Columbia Business School also earned a 2023 Urban Land Institute New York (ULI NY) Award for Excellence in Institutional Development and an Honor Award in the Architecture category from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York.