Silman, A TYLin Company, provided structural engineering services for the Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University in New York, New York.
The 5-story, 48,000-square-foot sports center is part of Baker Athletics Complex, Columbia University’s primary athletics facility for its outdoor sports programs. By combining strength and conditioning areas with student-athlete spaces such as study rooms and lounges, the state-of-the-art building is meant to serve both the minds and bodies of Columbia’s student-athletes.
Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the concept for the Campbell Sports Center is taken from “points on the ground, lines in space” - a phrase used to describe the field play diagrams used by sports teams to strategize their plays. In this case, the points are the building’s foundations on its sloping site, and the lines are its terraces and series of exposed external stairs.
The superstructure is a series of hollow-core precast planks anchored to non-orthogonal column lines that run east-west. A double-height steel truss spanning 65 feet at the fourth floor connects the main body of the building to an elevated arm that extends towards the playing fields below.
- The design concept for the building creates an expansive column-free zone below that frames the entrance to the soccer fields from the street.
- The tip of the building’s arm is supported by a configuration of slender, skewed columns that stand close to 40 feet tall.
- The LEED Silver-certified facility includes offices for varsity sports and football, an auditorium, a hospitality suite, and a theater-style meeting room.