Project Category - New Construction (completed July 1999)

Facility Contact - Debrah Kogler, Ophthalmology Project Administrator, (216) 444-8807

Firm - Turner Construction Company, (216) 522-1180

Design Team - Robert Chaney, Project Executive (Turner Construction Co.; now with Cleveland Clinic Foundation as Senior Owner's Representative); Debra Kogler, Ophthalmology Administrator (The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cole Eye Institute); David Toti, Architect (Cesar Pelli & Associates); Robert Bostwick, Architect; Mark LeBruan, Mechanical Engineer (Affiliated Engineers)

Patient/Bed Capacity - 350 patients

Total Building Area (sq. ft.) - 126,000

Total Land Area (acres) - 4.81

Total Cost (excluding land) - $34,770,000


The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cole Eye Institute design concept started in spring of 1994 and was completed in summer of 1999. Built for The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Division of Ophthalmology, the Cole Eye Institute consolidates and creates a prominent image for all departments, including: clinical, research, surgery and educational.

Two goals of the design project were to increase physician efficiency and decrease patient waiting time. These were accomplished through the radial organization of the clinical exam rooms, which allows doctors to see more patients in a given exam day and shortens the walking distance for patients.

The educational facility consists of a “distance learning” classroom equipped with state-of-the art audiovisual equipment to support two-way videoconferencing. Also, a telemedicine conference room is designed to support remote medical consultations.

Coincidentally, some people view the building's shape and design as reflecting portions of the human eye. For example, the grand curved wall of the 1st and 2nd floors reflects the back of the retina. The skylight located on top of the atrium reflects the light entering the eye. The atrium's marble floor is detailed to reflect a shutter effect, simulating how light enters the eye. The front entrance canopy reflects the cornea of the eye, and the main entrance canopy's shape reflects the eyelid.

Other state-of-the-art features are the Refractive Surgery Suite, with two surgery rooms and six patient rooms, and the main 80-seat classroom with sloped floor and fixed seating, which incorporates two 3-D projection screens. Participants can view slides with actual operations as they are performed. Real-time images of four operating rooms, several exam rooms and a teaching/training room can all be viewed in the classroom, as well.
Though the judges did not find this overhead view appealing, this unique floor design simulates how light enters the eye