Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed October 2005)

Chief administrator: William F. Dunn, MD, Medical Director, (507) 266-0684

Firm: Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. (HGA), (507) 281-8601

Design team: Hal Henderson, AIA, Principal; Roger Nelson, AIA, Project Manager; Tim Carl, AIA, Project Designer; Dennis Vonasek, AIA, Medical Planner; Nancy Schmidt, CID, Interior Designer

Photography: Dana Wheelock Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 10,200

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not released

Total construction cost (excluding land): Not released


The Mayo Clinic's desire to provide cutting edge, state-of-the-art educational tools led to the creation of the Multidisciplinary Simulation Center for the College of Medicine. Mayo has described the training as being similar to student pilots using simulation technology to practice flying without ever leaving the ground. The result of the architect's planning and design is a teaching environment with a unique blend of high-technology medical space and a theater area where students can practice and master skills without putting patients at risk.

The center includes 10 standardized patient rooms and 4 dedicated simulation rooms for OR, ICU, emergency/trauma, and an endovascular lab. Each simulation room can be outfitted with mannequins that replicate a variety of patient scenarios. The standardized patient rooms can be set up either as inpatient rooms or examination rooms. The design of each space provides a stage for actors to act in the roles of family members or patients.

Observation of all spaces is possible through one-way glass and/or through the audiovisual system, which is networked across the Mayo Foundation.

Because of the performance nature of the space and the need to film procedures, Mayo wanted a design firm with multiple design talents and the appropriate experience to team theater specialists with healthcare designers and architects. Flexibility, collaboration, and technology were the key factors emphasized consistently and continually throughout the design of this advanced space for the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. The new facility has recently been described by Mayo as “one of the most comprehensive multidisciplinary centers for simulation innovation in the world.”