The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences has earned an award for its design from the North Dakota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Merit Award “for distinguished accomplishments in design and the profession of architecture” was presented at the annual AIA North Dakota Awards Conference held in October 2017 in Fargo, ND. Steinberg’s Health Sciences Team collaborated with Perkins+Will in Minneapolis and JLG Architects in North Dakota to complete this project. Steinberg led the design and execution of all medical and health sciences education spaces as well as public spaces.
With North Dakota experiencing a significant shortage in all health care-related fields, the State Legislative Assembly authorized North Dakota’s only medical school, the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, to replace its aging facility with a new school in order to 1) increase enrollment by 25%, 2) attract and retain top-tier faculty and staff, 3) encourage inter-professional collaboration, 4) co-locate all eight medical, health sciences, and basic science programs in one building, and 5) retain more in-state graduates.
The new four-level, 320,000 SF School of Medicine and Health Sciences facility is now a shared, collaborative learning environment that provided the School with the opportunity to “re-think everything” about the way it delivered medical and health sciences education in order to develop a first-of-its-kind program. Each of the four floors features a Main Street – a wide corridor lined with flexible, student-centered classrooms and hands-on lab environments. Anchoring the North and South ends of Main Street are pairs of inter-professional learning communities, each serving 100 students from all eight disciplines. The eight learning communities contain group collaboration space, lockers, study carrels, a practice exam room, lounge/kitchenette, and a variety of seating. While the building itself is 24/7, the main floor is designed for public access and includes an auditorium, gathering spaces, a cafe, and a highly-detailed simulation center. Every space is designed with access to sunlight, an important feature in the North Dakota climate.