Borehole - Columbia University
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory Campus, Palisades, NY

The Borehole Group, a leading research program in deep-ocean geophysics as part of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, planned to expand its offices on the earth sciences Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Campus. An evaluation of campus options, led to a master plan with a phased approach to linking together and expanding three 1920’s era carriage house structures around a common entrance and center court.


Group members periodically visit their research ship to collect geological core samples deep beneath the ocean floor, extending globally their collective mindset. Six existing porthole windows in the center building’s stone base thematically situate the ‘Hub’, a cluster of collective spaces where the group can gather socially or work collectively. An AV-ready conference room, capable of video conferencing with team partners, may be opened to an adjoining lounge and coffee bar. At each side, peripheral study carrels provide temporary work-stations for visiting colleagues. Group-time spaces are differentiated from individual study-time spaces in a scheme that simultaneously creates a stable center and radiates-out globally.

CLIENT: Columbia University, Borehole Group

AREA: Phase I: 4,000 sf (completed); Phase II: 5,000 sf

RENDERING: Mahendra Sambandan

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