Samson Pavilion, CWRU and Cleveland Clinic

Samson Pavilion, CWRU and Cleveland Clinic, Foster + Partners

The design brings together the previously separate dental, nursing, and the university and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College medical education programs into a single, multidisciplinary four-story building that blends sympathetically with its neighbours.

Key elements of each school are arranged around a large internal courtyard, maintaining their own identities, but with a series of layered shared spaces. Spatial efficiency was greatly increased through utilisation studies and analysis of teaching methods, while the creation of flexible spaces allows room for future growth. The different faculties share teaching spaces, admin areas, lecture halls, recreational areas and technical teaching facilities as well as improved building services, storage and amenities such as cafeterias and personnel support. The 80-foot-high central Delos M. Cosgrove courtyard is the social heart of the pavilion.

Generously top-lit through linear skylights and furnished with oak tables, benches and planters designed by the practice, the space is meant for informal work meetings, chance encounters, and sharing a coffee from the nearby cafe. Foster + Partners delivered the structural and environmental design for the LEED Gold-rated project.

Detailed daylight and climate analysis informed the design of the roof of the central courtyard. The heavy snowfalls in the region drove the structural design, where the roof trusses are pitched to allow the snow to naturally slide off the glass and onto the solid infill roof around the courtyard, ultimately melting into the channels along each side of the roof. Shading is provided by the truss cladding allowing more light around the perimeter circulation spaces.