The new College of Health Sciences Building and Nursing & Health Sciences Hall at the University of California Irvine supports the institution’s goal of becoming a national model for integrative health. The new 211,660-sf facility houses nursing, medical doctorate, pharmacy, philosophy, and public health programs in a single building.
With biophilic elements incorporated throughout the LEED Platinum building and a natural courtyard, students are taught holistic mind, body, and spirit benefits of nature in a medical setting. The building features teaching labs, a simulation center, and dedicated lounge space with access to beautiful outdoor spaces, community spaces, and natural elements.
“These elements come to together to not only improve students’ learning outcomes, but also their health and wellness with access to nature and daylight, chances for building community and interaction between disciplines, and enriching research and learning through exposure to other programs, practitioners, clinicians, and students,” according to a news release.
Notable features of the facility include:
- Stand-alone auditorium and pre-function space acting as a center of activity, a gateway to campus, and a resource for all four UCI Health Sciences and other university events
- Distinct identities/signature spaces associated with each building
- A distinctive dedicated two-story lobby space with a living wall
- A high visibility, dedicated entry for the clinic that builds community among patients and staff and connects treatment functions on both levels
- A “main street” corridor that connects Research Neighborhoods to enhance collaboration, sharing of resources, and scalability
The project was designed according to a “Heart, Home and Integrator approach,” says Martha Ball, Higher Education Sector Leader, HED. “The heart is the dedicated entry and experience of the building that builds a sense of community among patients and clinicians. The home is the lounge that opens to a quiet outdoor area for respite, facilitating individual and group activities and studies. The integrator is the central courtyard with dedicated entry experiences for each program, the auditorium within the courtyard, and the glass bridge that connects the two wings. These come together to create chance encounters of researchers, faculty, clinicians, and administration.”
Bringing together medical programs “creates a premium experience that enhances learning outcomes by educating students beyond traditional lab classrooms,” Ball says. “Students see the benefits of biophilic design and collaborative spaces as patients are healed holistically.”
On the project team:
Owner and/or developer: University of California Irvine
Design architect: HED, teamed with SLAM for interior architecture/planning
Architect of record: HED
MEP engineer: Alvine Engineering
Structural engineer: Saiful Bouquet
General contractor/construction manager: Hathaway Dinwiddie