In relocating the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to downtown, the University at Buffalo returned one of the nation’s oldest medical schools to its original roots and reunited it with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to create a hub of academic medicine and research.
The gently sloping building features a high-performance terra-cotta rainscreen that reflects the architectural history and texture of Buffalo.
The facility brings together 1,200 students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians, increasing the school’s enrollment capacity by 25 percent. Central to the design is a grand atrium formed where the building’s two L-shaped volumes connect. Illuminated by skylights, this bright, open space serves as the main interior avenue. Study nooks and meeting spaces along the stair landings encourage collaboration. A 400-seat, ground-level auditorium allows for formal knowledge sharing.
The design puts learning on display with glass-walled conference rooms and “floating operating rooms” that cantilever over the atrium, allowing all occupants to view the teaching and research underway inside. In the “flipped” classrooms, students can listen to a lecture and then swivel around to meet in small groups.
A subway station connected to the lobby further activates the building by creating a space where students and faculty mix with NFTA riders.