Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Common Ground: Dual Facility Boosts Efficiency, Cuts Costs

Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Common Ground: Dual Facility Boosts Efficiency, Cuts Costs

Article excerpt

In an unprecedented collaboration, the University at Buffalo (UB), flagship campus of the State University of New York; and Kaleida Health, a major western New York health care provider; have partnered to create a building designed to transform clinical research and patient care.

At the Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute (GVI)/UB Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), researchers, physicians and others work cooperatively to discover and implement new treatments for stroke, cardiac, vascular and neurological conditions. The institutions share the facility, with the GVI on the first four floors and the CTRC stacked above. At the heart of the building, in a two-story core that provides space for collaborative work, is the Jacobs Institute, a nonprofit organization developed to promote medical collaboration and innovation.


"UB has made a major commitment to raising the research mission of our university, with a particular interest in clinical and translational research," says Timothy F. Murphy, M.D., director of the CTRC and UB senior associate dean for clinical and translational research. "The adjacency of the research center with a clinical care center makes a whole lot of sense in terms of being able to facilitate and do better clinical research."

The building was designed by the Los Angeles, Buffalo, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices of Cannon Design. In addition to the laboratory and patient care areas, the facility includes a small business incubator for the development of new medical devices.

By bringing related specialties together under one roof, the GVI/ CTRC collapses the distances between disciplines and encourages interaction, says Mehrdad Yazdani, a design principal at Cannon Design and design director of the firm's Yazdani Studio.

Cost savings is the other major reason for the consolidated design, Murphy says. The building was less expensive to construct and is less expensive to operate than two separate facilities (see sidebar, Page 19). He says that by creating, in essence, "two buildings in one," the project team freed resources to be invested in equipping and staffing the facility, which has proven to be an effective tool for recruiting nationally recognized investigators to Buffalo.

Bright and modern

"It's the kind of place you want to come to work to in the morning," Murphy says. "It's very attractive. It's bright, it's modern."

The cube-shaped, 10-story structure is enlivened by a ribbon of white metal and glass that weaves its way through a pattern of translucent glass and fritted spandrel glazing. The ribbon outlines communal spaces within the facility, including the multistory lobby at ground level, the fifth-floor lobby and conference center, physician lounges and the upper-level atrium. "It's celebrating the spaces that are there to promote collaboration and cooperation. It communicates that to the outside world," Yazdani says.

The undulating ribbon penetrates the exterior wall and is translated into terrazzo at floor level and metal panels at ceiling height. The intent is to create a seamless, fluid transition from the outside to the inside of the building, says Dale Greenwald, interior design principal, Cannon Design.

Similarly, gypsum-reinforced fiberglass panels with a concrete finish that are installed in the main lobby mimic the look of precast stone at the base of the building's exterior. Wood paneling is introduced at the lobby level to round out the underlying base materials palette, and is repeated at both the collaborative core and upper atrium. "The same modulation that presents itself from the exterior carries to the interior and then moves its way up the building, complementing the ribbon's path," Greenwald says.

Vertical campus

Services in the GVI/CTRC are arranged like a vertical campus. The building's lowest level houses a 53-bay emergency department for the adjacent Buffalo General Medical Center, a Kaleida Health facility that is connected to the GVI by bridges on multiple levels. …

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