Designed by Weiss/Manfredi architects, with a luminous exterior featuring glass panels, the new Diana Center at Barnard College is set for a grand opening on Wednesday, February 3, 2010. Poised to become a significant architectural presence on Broadway, in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, this 98,000-square-foot multi-use building includes a black box theatre as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, studio, library, administrative and gallery space for Barnard’s architecture and art history departments, as well as space for student services and activities, a public café, and a wood-paneled oval event space.
“The Diana Center is as distinctive and multidimensional as our students and faculty,” said Anna Quindlen ’74, chair of the Barnard Board of Trustees and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. “It’s a renaissance building, suitable for studying, painting, acting, eating, learning and relaxing. The trustees are delighted with this tangible symbol of our commitment to our community and to the liberal arts.”
The $70 million, seven-story building demonstrates Barnard’s ongoing commitment to improving and growing its physical space. It is a new nexus—both a campus center that fosters the spontaneous interaction of artistic, academic and social life, and a cultural destination for visitors from near and far.
Certified as LEED Silver, The Diana Center was named after the Roman goddess Diana and in honor of donor Diana Touliatou Vagelos ‘55, who, with her husband Roy, donated $15 million—the largest gift in Barnard’s history—for the project. The building is the capstone of the College’s multi-year Master Plan to increase spatial efficiency, improve infrastructures and add academic and administrative space.
“We are thrilled to have this dynamic, architecturally distinguished new center of activity and creativity on our campus, and we are enormously grateful to Diana and Roy Vagelos, and to Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, for giving us this stunning building,” said Debora L. Spar, president of Barnard College. “The Diana Center is a salute to the urban campus and will only add to the unique excitement of attending an intimate liberal arts college in the middle of New York City.”
Diana Vagelos, who serves as vice chair of the Barnard Board of Trustees, added, “In the way that Barnard transformed and inspired me, The Diana Center will transform and inspire the next generation of women leaders to be daring and dauntless. It’s not just a building, it’s a monument to creative excellence.”