Medical College of Georgia—Health Sciences Building [Augusta, GA]
Project category: New construction (completed September 2006)
Chief administrator: Jonathan Bangs, Chief Architect, (706) 721-6150
Firm: The S/L/A/M Collaborative, (860) 659-1010
Design team: Joseph League AIA, Principal-in-Charge; William Stelten, Design Architect; Daniel Granniss, LEED AP, Landscape Architect; Terri L. Frink, IIDA, Interior Designer (The S/L/A/M Collaborative); Matthew Steinmetz, General Contractor (Turner Construction); William Thompson, PE, MEP Engineer (Thompson Company, Inc.)
Photography: © Jonathan Hillyer
Total building area (sq. ft.): 189,900
Construction cost/sq. ft.: $166
Total construction cost (excluding land): $31,516,605
The new Health Sciences Building provides laboratory, instructional, administrative, and faculty offices for the Schools of Allied Health Science and Nursing. Project goals included consolidation and creation of distinct identities for the schools while encouraging collaboration and establishing a major entry point to the academic precinct of the campus.
Working closely with faculty, the design team completely reprogrammed the facility during the design phase, achieving more ambitious goals within original space and budget constraints. Since program elements varied dramatically, the team separated general-use classroom/computer spaces from departmental classrooms and administrative spaces. This was achieved with a two-story steel frame building for large classrooms and a five-story, poured-in-place concrete frame for the departmental component.
Further separation is achieved by locating departments at each end of the building and stacking them over the five floors, thus creating “department homes” for each curriculum. In the five-story tower, spaces are organized from public to teaching to private offices, creating separate zones within the building. Enhancing campus definition and architectural vocabulary, the building materials were chosen to be compatible with existing structures, yet capable of serving users well into the future.
The design carefully locates the building to allow for the creation of open space. On the eastern portion of the site, asphalt was converted into green space. This eastern green includes a serpentine seating wall, accentuated by plantings, with an open lawn at its center. On the western portion of the site, an entry plaza creates a sense of arrival and takes advantage of views into a future open space. The entry plaza includes seating walls, specialty paving, planters, site furnishings, and accessible ramps.