“The building successfully marries state-of-the-art research and educational space, green building technology, and good design.”
– Mary Beth McGrew, University Architect and Associate Vice President of Planning, Design & Construction
The University of Cincinnati—known for its use of signature architects—selected STUDIOS and Harley Ellis Devereaux to design the renovation and expansion of its health sciences complex. The project partially renovates the original 900,000 sf concrete structure, and adds a new 246,000 sf wing, uniting the two buildings to create a distinct architectural identity for the complex. The completed project creates a one-building research and education campus for the medical sciences, as well as a Student Commons for use by the university population.
The concept for the project was to create a more approachable campus precinct for health sciences. The CARE project forms the heart of the precinct, which includes several other science and medical buildings. The addition and forecourt replaces a former parking structure, and unites with the existing building to create a new indoor/outdoor public space at the entry level.
The plan of the new building is fractured in order to create more neighborhood-like research spaces. A full-height atrium acts as a zipper between new and old, resolving differing floor heights and providing vertical connectivity. Multi-story openings were carved into the original 1970s high-rise structure; glass bridges span the atrium like chandeliers, softening the existing medical building’s fortress-like façade and weaving together the two structures.
The atrium envelops the exterior open space to create a large, light-filled urban room that encourages socialization and collegiality among students, staff and faculty throughout the year, shielding building users from Cincinnati’s four-season climate. Common amenities such as recreation, conferencing, dining, lecture halls and student support areas are placed within the atrium space or clustered at the entry level, evoking a “town center” atmosphere.
This project raises the standards for sustainable design in a laboratory environment. The new building is LEED Gold certified; the renovated existing building will seek LEED Silver.