Driven by a spirit of collaboration, Kaleida Health and the University at Buffalo united within a single structure to bring several disciplines—and patients, surgeons, and researchers—together to exchange knowledge and ignite innovation. The 476,000-sf facility achieves this by stacking a translational research building over a clinical vascular institute. The first floors of this 10-story "vertical campus" house the Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), with the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) occupying the top half of the building. Sandwiched between the two is a "collaborative core," the "binder" that connects doctors and researchers from varying specialties, who meet in a variety of dynamic situations to accelerate medical discoveries and move science from bench to bedside.
The GVI boasts a “hotel” consisting of 62 private patient rooms arranged into four nursing pods, each capable of independent operation but flexible enough to work with adjacent pods through the ebb and flow of patient volume. The hotel creates a more restive environment distinct from the active treatment areas. The GVI also features 59 exam rooms, five admissions offices, 16 intensive-care beds, and seven surgery rooms, as well as several patient and family amenities. A state-of-the-art emergency department, entered through a spacious main waiting room, is designed to accommodate 60,000 patient visits per year. The perimeter of the building is designed to admit abundant natural daylight.
The CTRC occupies the top four floors of the building with a total of 170,000 sf of dedicated laboratory space, advanced imaging facilities, a bio-repository, and a clinical research center. Open-plan laboratories put researchers side by side, whereas traditionally they would be isolated in individual labs. This New Scientific Workplace breaks down the “silos” that result when researchers are isolated by discipline, and encourages the exchange of ideas and collaboration between researchers in different areas of inquiry.
The facility’s striking modern design reflects the high-tech work happening within. Standing 190 feet tall with a 220-by-230-foot floor plate, the GVI/CTRC building is essentially a cube. To create visual interest, curved edges and corners soften the boxy appearance, and a metal ribbon of the building’s “wrapper” is folded inside and out to echo the interior distribution of spaces and to symbolize the fluidity of interaction among the collaborative teams.
Designed to attract people to the collaborative core areas, the interior design is enlivened with creative lighting, focal points, bright colors, and warm woods that counter play with the crisp neutrals of the building palette. To emphasize the continuity between outside and inside and among groups of occupants, the curvilinear forms of the structure are reintroduced into the millwork and solid surfaces, accented through use of color.