Colin Dabkowski, arts critic for The Buffalo News, joined HOK Principal David Schwartz on a “walk and talk” tour through the new 628,000-sq.-ft. Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Walk along with them and eavesdrop on the conversation by watching this Facebook Live video.
Excerpted from The Buffalo News:
“The grey and white terrazzo tile floors of the building’s atrium–as well as its skylights and the gleaming white walkways that bridge its outsized atrium–are based on the trajectories of Allen Street and Main Street. … This, Schwartz said, is a nod to Buffalo’s much-praised radial street plan.”
“Many buildings constructed in previous decades treat stairwells as necessary utilitarian evils, hidden away behind unattractive fire doors and usually made of cheap concrete. Elevators, by contrast, usually hold a place of honor. Here, following a longstanding trend in the opposite direction, HOK has de-emphasized the elevator shafts and brought the staircases into full view. … The result, Schwartz said, is that a visitor can clearly see a path from the ground floor to the top of the building seven floors higher and is thus encouraged to traverse the stairs.”
“One of the more controversial design decisions among faculty members was the inclusion of many work spaces, conference rooms, labs and other environments that put their occupants on full display. Nowhere is this more evident than when the shades are up on what Schwartz called ‘the operating room of the future,’ which looks out over the atrium–and, more importantly, allows people in the atrium to see in.”