Health Sciences Innovation Building

CO Architects

The groundbreaking Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB) at the University of Arizona, Tucson transcends established norms in health sciences education with a holistic, innovative and community-based approach. HSIB reimagines curriculum and pedagogy to reflect healthcare’s trend towards multidisciplinary and team-based patient care. In a state-of-the-art, interprofessional facility, it creates a campus community hub focused on supporting schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health.

Envisioned as a flexible building to accommodate future curricular evolution and innovation, this 22,947-m2 project is conceived in defined layers – the “Loft” and “Porch”. The Loft, with its uninterrupted long-span structure, is the academic engine, housing learning spaces including two mega learning studios, a versatile “Simulation Deck”, research labs and makerspaces as well as a multi-functional Forum. Augmenting the Loft is the terracotta-clad Porch, a vertical community space and the physical manifestation of social, inter- and trans- disciplinary learning – an academic and community incubator.

Each facade of HSIB represents a distinct expression of function and climate in both composition and materiality.

The east-facing Porch connects to the campus’ predominantly brick aesthetic by introducing terracotta, and as a dynamic destination for synergy and collaboration. With limited north-south exposure, the Loft elevation maximizes glass to harness daylight and divulge the 30-meter, column-free structure. Lastly, the folded, perforated metal West facade laminates the utilitarian infrastructure of shafts and risers to the building between concrete stair and elevator enclosures, reducing glazed apertures and minimizing heat gain and direct solar exposure.