For the first time in the history of Emory University a singular place now bears the name of the Emory School of Medicine. The site selected for the project is strategically positioned in the heart of the main campus located in the North Druid Hills section of Atlanta. The 2.8 acre site is directly adjacent the intersection of two significant pedestrian corridors. Located at this intersection was the parking and service access to the adjacent Health Sciences Administration building which created a conflict between vehicular circulation and the pedestrians that braved the corridor. The removal of vehicles from the pedestrian corridor allowed what was an eye-sore and potentially dangerous situation to become a vibrant people mover with rough granite walls, cut granite pavers and stairs, and plantings. A fountain marks the intersection of the two pedestrian corridors and an entrance into the School of Medicine. The two intersecting curves of the fountain walls emulate the flow of pedestrians and reflect the striking angular nature of the existing administration building.
Emory University’s School of Medicine had an aggressive plan to become a top medical school and tasked SLAM with creating a state-of-the-art medical education building to support that goal.
The highly regarded Emory University School of Medicine was housed in a matched pair of small historic original School of Medicine buildings and a ‘70’s era connector building. The structures were inadequate for the School’s current academic program, provided no informal study or interaction space for students and faculty, and could not accommodate the curriculum and pedagogical changes necessary to address the evolving changes in medical science and clinical practice.
The charge to the Design Team was to retain, restore and re-purpose the two historic buildings; to demolish the connector building and replace it with a new, architecturally appropriate structure that would provide the balance of the space required by the 160,000 SF total program; and, in addition: Create an image appropriate to the reputation of the School and its program; Develop a design solution which was architecturally appropriate to the importance of the site and the design guidelines of Emory’s campus plan; Accommodate a totally new curriculum and pedagogy for an expanded class of 150; Incorporate state-of-the-art instructional and medical technologies; Provide a broad range of informal study and activity space for students that would allow the facility to be a figurative HOME for them.
In the 150-year history of Emory’s School of Medicine, there had never been a consolidated facility designed specifically for the needs of medical education. The realization of this project has allowed the university to maintain its flagship program in the heart of its campus.