417 IAB, the Frank Altschul Auditorium is a 400 seat auditorium/classroom that is one of the largest lecture halls on Columbia's campus. Most of Columbia's most popular classes are held here to accomodate the hundreds of students who usually enroll in them.
Though somewhat dull and sterile, the room is comfortable and modern. However, when students take the aisle seats of rows, getting into the rows becomes difficult as it does in many rooms. Some students prefer to take a seat along the side of the room rather than squeeze past students and their laptops.
The sloped but untiered floor of the room, coupled with the poor decorum of many students, lends the floor a decidedly messy and disgusting character. By afternoon, coffee spilled that morning has usually trickled to the front of the room.
Designed by the firm Marble Fairbanks. Scott Marble teaches at Columbia, and Karen Fairbanks is the head of the undergraduate Columbia-Barnard Architecture Program.