Architects: NAC Architecture
Location: University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA
Consultants: Kahler Slater Architects, Inc., Pamela Bartczak Design, University of Colorado Denver, Martin & Martin, S.A. Miro, M-E Engineers, Shen Milsom Wilke, InSite Design
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Frank Ooms
From the architect. The new Education 1 Facility by NAC Architecture sets the tone for the new University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The building houses education facilities for multiple medical schools within the university. The design by NAC Architecture accomplishes a welcoming building that extends itself out into the campus and the students it serves.
Education 1 Facility is the first building on the Anschutz Medical Campus and is designed as a key piece in the master plan. It invites students with four separate entrances and is an integral joint of circulation connecting the campus. Within the building, the circulation paths between the four entrances are widened to allow for the increase in passersby, and to encourage gathering on the first floor where community spaces are numerous.
The building is five stories of educational facilities for the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Graduate programs. The first two levels are heavily intermixed to encourage integration between the different schools. NAC Architecture worked with the schools to create an accessible building and develop a new design to align with their changing, flexible method of teaching.
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus believes that the method of education in the medical fields is changing. The Education 1 Facility works with the idea that teamwork and collaboration will be a growing part of the medical education. Interaction is encouraged through the public spaces on the first two floors, and the classrooms take the form of case-study style classrooms, stepping away from the lecture style of teaching.
Hallways in the building are glazed floor to ceiling to provide views both inward and outward to campus students and assure connections between the two. Eastern light enters the building through these open stripes, as well as through skylights. Again in a innovative retreat from typical medical education facilities, the top floor is occupied by the cadaver labs usually placed in basement levels.
NAC Architecture carefully reconsidered the medical education field today along with the University of Colorado. The resulting building is a new approach to fit the students’ and university’s needs, and to be a comfortable place to study and socialize on the Anschutz Medical Campus.