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Duke Health Center for Interprofessional Education and Care

Duke University
Two buildings with one dynamic vision advance nursing and interprofessional health education.
Exterior view of Duke University’s School of Nursing, phase I and II
Location
Durham, NC
Size
School of Nursing: 116,800 GSF 
Center for Interprofessional Education and Care: 102,000 GSF 
Sustainability
School of Nursing: LEED Silver 
Center for Interprofessional Education and Care: LEED Gold 
Completion
Nursing School, 2014; Center for Interprofessional Education and Care, 2019

The Duke University Medical Center has long been admired for its celebrated programs and community of distinguished scholars and clinicians. Ayers Saint Gross was commissioned to design a new facility for the School of Nursing with the goal of uniting programs previously spread across campus into a single, iconic building with the potential for future expansion.

Five years after the first phase opened, a meteoric growth of the school’s enrollment necessitated an addition and Ayers Saint Gross continued to work with the university to design a facility for the Department of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. The expansion connects to the original complex and integrates state-of-the-art simulation spaces and a virtual hospital. The holistic vision for the School of Nursing and the Center for Interprofessional Education and Care affirms Duke University’s place as a national leader in interdisciplinary nursing education.

The architecture recalls the collegiategothic vernacular of Duke’s historic campus. A two-story commons space engages the courtyard and wooded area beyond – a respite from the dense urban medical center. This new heart for the School of Nursing provides meaningful space for students, faculty, and staff to collaborate and share common experiences. 

The design celebrates the wooded site and vigorous canopy of trees. Two curved stoneseat walls bracket the terrace and hold the grade while walkways weave through the preserved trees from three sides. To reduce site disturbance, the team employed sustainability strategies to protect existing vegetation, introduce irrigation systems, reduce the development footprint where possible, and incorporate native plants.  

Learning spaces are designed to be flexible, adaptable, and equipped with the latest technology. Large classrooms are paired with smaller seminar rooms to accommodate different teaching and learning styles and curricular requirements. Clinical learning spaces include new skills labs and simulation space, while breakout rooms and formal and informal study spaces offer students more opportunities for study and collaboration. 

The Duke Health Center for Interprofessional Education and Care connects to the School of Nursing via a skybridge on multiple levels, bringing together three different programs within the medical center – Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy, School of Nursing, and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Using the architectural vocabulary established in the existing building, the addition seamlessly integrates with the original building.

The learning spaces build upon the phase one spaces and are designed to be flexible, adaptable and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to accommodate the latest active learning pedagogies. Large flexible classrooms are paired with smaller seminar rooms to accommodate different teaching and learning styles and curricular requirements. Clinical learning spaces within the school are expanded, adding new skills labs and simulation space. Breakout rooms, formal and informal study spaces offer students more opportunities for study and collaboration. The addition also accommodates space for faculty offices and research space.

 
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