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Kansas’ only medical school receives new 171,000-sf building

The building was designed to enhance the medical campus’ existing facilities, curriculum, and classrooms.

August 08, 2017 |
 One of the corridors with student meeting space in the new Health Education Building

Photo courtesy of KUMC

Missouri isn’t the only state with a new medical center designed to address the shortage of healthcare professionals, as the University of Kansas Medical Center recently opened the Health Education Building with the same goal in mind.

The Health Education Building is a four-story, 171,000-sf building designed by Co Architects and Helix Architecture that includes high-tech simulation environments and flexible learning studios. Large-scale teaching studios and clinical skills and simulation labs support active, team-based learning.


The exterior of the new Health Education Building on the University of Kansas campusPhoto courtesy of KUMC.


Two 225-person interactive studios are separated by an operable partition that can be removed to create one column-free 11,000-sf event space. The studios and labs “float” within the outer glass façade of the building to show off the core of the building’s curriculum to the public.

From the outside, the building’s design uses a transparent “lantern” box design. The ample use of glass allows students to receive natural daylight and provides them with exterior views.

The Health Education Building’s design also called for an on-grade parking lot to be changed into a 22,000-sf green courtyard and a 17,000-sf vegetated roof with access. The irrigation system for these features uses condensate water from the building’s mechanical system.


Architectural features of the new Health Education BuildingPhoto courtesy of KUMC.


A 250-foot-long glass-enclosed bridge passes through the center of the Health Education Building and connects it to existing buildings on the Kansas City campus. The bridge links the campus into a loop that provides 6,000 sf of lounge, meeting, and student activity space.

The Health Education Building was designed with flexibility in mind and can accommodate a 25% class size increase over its current enrollment.


The vegetated courtyard and roof at the new Health Education Building on KU's campusPhoto courtesy of KUMC.

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