A cool $500 million. That's the cost of the two new buildings under construction at Columbia University's Manhattanville campus as part of a…wait for it…$6.3 billion expansion project as reported by Bloomberg in 2010.
One of the new buildings named ‘The Kravis building’, will house the Business School thanks to a donation of $100 million from Henry Kravis, founder of private equity firm KKR & Co. This will make Columbia one of the most expensive business school campuses in the world (when it’s built)! But in this volatile business school world with more courses moving online each year, will anyone care in six years time that Columbia has a shiny new campus?
This was one of the topics raised when I sat down to lunch with Thierry Grange, President of the Strategic Board of Grenoble Ecole de Management in France. Grange was Dean of the school from 2002 to 2012. He concluded that fantastic architecture and lush surroundings will always have a place on business school campuses…but why? Grange said: "Investment in buildings which are in a legitimate place of learning will always be acceptable... you do learn from the environment as well."
His view is repeated regularly by the students we speak to on BusinessBecause, who rave about their school's creative group-work spaces, buzzing wi-fi areas, relaxing gardens and friendly cafes. A well-constructed business school campus can help to stimulate and inspire its occupants, helping them to work in teams, make brilliant presentations, and connect with the rest of the b-school community as well as the outside world.
So, here's a shout-out to some of the top business schools for beautiful campuses....
Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
Overlooked by snow-topped mountains with crisp fresh alpine air, known as the "Capital of the Alps", it's Grenoble.
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
An expansive campus located seven miles south of Chicago’s city center in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Designed by Raphael Vinõly, the Center is across from Frank Lloyd Wright’s world famous Robie House as well as the University’s iconic Rockefeller Chapel.
UCLA Anderson School of Management
More like an Italian piazza than a US b-school campus, UCLA has an incredible red brickwork complex near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Westwood Plaza.
Nyenrode Business Universiteit
We've covered Nyenrode's campus before and you can see more pics in 'Surely the most beautiful business school campus?'. You can see why we fell for it: in addition to this fantastic hedge maze there's also a Castle!
INSEAD Singapore Campus
Water is an important element in the ultimate feng shui arrangement and they've got it perfected at the INSEAD Singapore campus with lily ponds teeming with fat Koi carp!
Imperial College Business School
Right in the heart of South Kesington, completely at odds with the surrounding Georgian neighbourhood, the Imperial Business School building certainly stands out with its enormous wall of glass, and an imposing modern beauty about it.
If you think we've missed an even more GORGEOUS b-school from our list please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your picture and comments on why you think it's one of the most beautiful b-schools or leave a comment below and I'll be sure to check it out!
Newcomers to the list...
University of Hohenheim, Faculty for Economics, Business and Social Sciences - With a botanical, exotic and landscape garden plus a huge period mansion this campus surely has it all...Submitted by Philipp Baumann. Image from the University of Hohenheim website where you can take a slightly dizzying 360 degree virtual tour.
The unusual and colourful building that used to be a hospital is now home to Judge Business School at Cambridge University. It is excellently located, within walking distance of the train station and the city center and the picturesque banks of the River Camb. This entry was submitted by Fiona Nunn the Head of Career Services at Judge Business School. Photo credit goes to Wikipedia Commons
Set in a beautiful parkland campus just three miles south of the historic city of Lancaster. The campus is like a town in its own right, with shops, pubs, cafés, hairdressers and banks. Yet the tranquillity of the countryside is all around. This entry was submitted by Chris Saunders, Full time MBA Director at Lancaster University Management School. Photo from the Lancaster website!
It's clear to see why Ashridge Business School has made the newcomer list...the independent Business school is based in Hertfordshire in the UK and was ranked number one in the world for it's customised executive education programs by the Financial Times in 2012. Thank-you for the submission by Christian Kersting! Photo from Wikipedia commons.
Read more fun stories in our Top Business Schools For section. Compare Business Schools in our MBA Rankings table.