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Barnard College – The Milstein Center

Located at the heart of campus, The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Teaching and Learning Center is a hub of academic and intellectual life at Barnard College. The 128,000-square-foot interdisciplinary building is designed to bring students and faculty together, facilitating collaborations and dialogue.

A distinguished zinc and glass addition to the campus, The Milstein Center replaces the former Lehman Library and doubles the amount of study spaces and classrooms of its predecessor. The new building provides access to a variety of resources, celebrating Barnard’s unique collections and archives. With a base of five floors and an 11-story tower that structurally aligns with the adjacent Altschul Hall, the building transitions from active, bustling spaces on the lower levels to quiet, reflective spaces toward the top. Inside the library, a signature stairwell leads users up from a ground floor space with a cafe, a suite of multimedia centers, and a wide variety of study areas, to quieter, more individual spaces surrounded by books.

The Milstein Center’s program of diversified yet synergistic resources culminates in a new kind of library. The building is the new multidisciplinary home to departments affiliated with social sciences, including economics, urban studies, political science and history. It also contains expanded conference facilities and features the Vagelos Computational Sciences Center, the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. The library is home to several academic centers that help students explore new ways of learning through hands-on research and collaboration: the Empirical Reasoning Center, Design Center, Digital Humanities Center, Sloate Media Center, and Movement Lab. These innovative centers reflect the connections at the core of Barnard’s educational philosophy.

The design of the building responds to its unique position overlooking the Lehman Lawn, a beloved open space on campus. The building’s terraced massing allows sun light to reach the lawn, while also creating a series of inviting outdoor spaces. Located on the library's second, third, and fourth floors, the terraces effectively extend the lawn onto the building and make for exceptional areas for studying or socializing.

Certified LEED Silver, The Milstein Center continues Barnard’s tradition of sustainable campus construction projects. The building’s design supports both Barnard's environmental curriculum and the behavior change programs being enacted by the student body and faculty. Aligned with the College’s vision to build a more sustainable campus and reduce carbon emissions, the project achieved 90 percent construction waste diversion and is designed to provide high energy and water cost savings.

Like Barnard College itself, The Milstein Center is a distinctive place of community, collaboration, and connections. This transformative building prepares Barnard College for another 125 years of service to women of intellect, ambition, and vision.

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