Barnard College Center for the Study of Child Development
Morningside Heights, NY

The vision for the new Center was to connect preexisting programs within the college's psychology department including, the Center for Toddler Development, the Cognitive Development Center, and the Language Acquisition and Development Research Laboratory into a single space. Previously, each program was housed in a different location, and a major goal of the project’s brief was to create synergy between the formerly siloed programs in the historic, 125-year-old, Milbank Hall.

DBI managed the CSCD’s development from programming and planning through design and then oversaw the demolition and gut renovation of Milbank Hall’s basement level to create the new space. Built at the turn of the 20th century and housing a variety of administrative and academic spaces, Milbank Hall presented a challenging building environment. DBI coordinated closely with the Barnard Capital Projects team to strategically relocate other departments within the building affected by the Center’s relocation. DBI managed the entitlement process for the College, addressing the change of use within the building and approvals for the operation of the Toddler Center.

Designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO), the project integrates arched niches, playful colors, and natural light throughout the space to create a unique harbor for toddlers, parents, and researchers at the College. It features a large playroom, observation areas, classrooms, offices, conference rooms, spaces for parents, and research facilities to enable top-quality data collection, coding, analysis, and neuro-brain research.

The management of the Study of Child Development was DBI’s first engagement with Barnard College. Since then, we have been proud to support the College’s ambitions on a range of project management and strategic planning assignments, including developing a comprehensive Local Law 11 strategic plan to address repair and inspection obligations, implementing several repair and renovation projects, and planning for comprehensive upgrades to both campus and building infrastructure.