Project Info

Size18,239 sq ft
The Academic Entrance Building is a LEED Gold-certified addition to the UConn School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine building. Along with integrating two academic institutions and providing spaces for progressive new pedagogies, the design also creates a welcoming new identity for the school by means of a dramatic and transparent entrance. The $21 million, 12,800-square-foot addition features a large, circular space shaped for small-unit, interactive, team-based learning and is equipped with advanced projection and acoustic technologies to support it. The central space, known as the Academic Rotunda, is 3,800 square feet and 75 feet in diameter. The Academic Rotunda is suited for lectures as well as for conferences and catered events for up to 350 people. The space can accommodate 240 students in the team-based learning layout. Smaller group study rooms are arrayed around the central arena space. They can be used either as intimate classrooms or as conference breakout spaces. Circulation areas and balconies surrounding the arena space are geared for informal study. They provide seating for individuals and for small groups. A broad balcony at the center of the front façade gives students a convenient way to take study breaks and get outdoors for a little fresh air and an unparalleled view of the Connecticut Berkshires. The design developed by the architect points to a sea change from traditional, lecture-hall pedagogy toward more modular, self-directed and group-based learning. Advanced technologies for procedure simulations and anatomy visualizations are being explored as well. With incorporation of a Center for Wellness to be used by students and faculty alike, the school will place a special emphasis on wellness – both in practice and in pedagogy. The Academic Entrance Building is one of three recent projects by the architect on the UConn Health campus. The UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, slated for LEED Silver, opened in 2015, and the LEED Gold Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine was completed in 2014. All are premier projects in the Bioscience Connecticut initiative.
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