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60+ Years of Design + Innovation

A Cutting-Edge Medical Campus as a Downtown Hub

University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Buffalo, New York, USA

“I hear from our students, faculty and staff that the new building has generated a new energy, which was exactly what we had hoped to achieve. Instead of having scientific and clinical faculty split on two campuses, they are now able to share innovations and ideas informally, in the atrium or the café and those conversations often include our students, too.”

Michael E. Cain, MD
Dean of the Jacobs School

The University at Buffalo is using this new medical school to train more world-class doctors, recruit the best faculty members, achieve breakthroughs in biomedical science and transform healthcare in Western New York.

The state-of-the-art medical school and integrated transit station anchor a vibrant mixed-use district in downtown Buffalo. It’s also a new gateway to the entire Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

HOK’s design reflects the city’s renewed optimism. The exterior relates to the character of Buffalo and its Allentown neighborhood while making a bold statement about the region’s future. A high-performance, terra-cotta rain screen and glass curtain wall system bring daylight deep inside the building. A 32-foot-tall light tower at the Main and High streets entrance acts as a beacon (often lit in UB blue) for the building.

On the interior, the design creates an interdisciplinary medical learning environment. Two L-shaped structures are linked by a six-story, light-filled glass atrium that houses areas for informal interaction and is the main activity hub for the campus. A second-floor “piano nobile,” or principal level, fosters collaboration among faculty members, researchers and the medical community.

To bring together academia and research, the design places the daylit laboratory spaces on the third, fourth and fifth floors between the more public parts of the medical education program on the lower floors and the specialized, pedagogical components—including the human anatomy suite and a high-tech patient simulation center—on upper floors. Open spaces on each level are “learning landscapes.” Classrooms are flexible to accommodate lectures or small groups.

Faculty, researchers and students have clinical responsibilities on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, which is linked to the medical school by an enclosed bridge. By providing opportunities for learning, researching and credentialing to a variety of medical practitioners, the building creates a true academic medical campus.

The new NFTA Allen Street transit hub on the ground floor provides convenient mass transit access, furthering the development of a sustainable, vibrant community.

The building is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.




628,000 sq. ft. / 58,345 sq. m.


Building Enclosure
Facility Programming
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Master Planning
Urban Design


ENR New York - Award of Merit in Higher Education

AIA New York State - Excelsior Award for Public Architecture


Terra cotta panels forming the high-performance building skin


SF of exterior glass


Students, faculty and staff


7 September 2018
“School of Medicine Boosts Buffalo Campus”
Commercial Architecture

10 April 2018
“HOK Design of University at Buffalo’s New Medical School Wins Excelsior Award for Public Architecture”
HOK News

5 March 2018
“Five Architecture Features of UB’s New Medical School (includes video tour)”
The Buffalo News

6 January 2018
“UB Medical School Is Designed for a New Way of Training Doctors”
The Buffalo News

1 January 2018
“UB’s New Medical School”
Buffalo Spree

12 December 2017
“University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Opens”
HOK News