Hospitals have featured innovative architecture for decades, in the name of facilitating the latest evidence-free trends in patient care. Now, with buzzwords like “interdisciplinary synergy” and “small-group learning”, cutting edge architecture spreads to medical schools.
Here’s a St. Louis Today dispatch on Washington University Medical School’s spacious new entrance:
The site on Euclid Avenue near Barnes Plaza was so cramped and challenging that it necessitated the closing of Scott Avenue. Now in its place, a soaring entry atrium serves as the medical school’s town square.
The light-drenched lobby still draws plenty of foot traffic. It houses an Internet cafe and is a direct route from student residences to the sprawling hospital and research complex.
Enclosed walkways connect Farrell to the North laboratory and administration building, to a conference center and to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The imposing brick facade of the North building forms an interior wall for the atrium. Students climbing the four-story, open stairway in Farrell’s lobby can look across at young scientists at work in the North building laboratories.
We understand that it’s easier to fund and build beautiful, airy atriums by claiming it promotes learning and better outcomes… but the more these bromides are repeated, the more foolish the designers will look in twenty years, when the pendulum will be swinging away from current trends in education.
More from Washington University’s Farrell Center Home Page…