HOK brings an impressive and deep portfolio in health sciences complexes. The firm designed the acclaimed King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and the Francis Crick Institute’s cardiovascular and cancer research center in central London, which will be the largest center for biomedical research and innovation in Europe.
Because of UB’s sustainability and climate-impact reduction goals, HOK’s green-design credentials influenced its selection: UB has set a goal of LEED Gold for the new medical school building. LEED is a sustainability ratings system created by the U.S. Green Building Council.
HOK has been repeatedly ranked the “top green design firm” by Engineering News-Record, while KAUST was certified in 2009 as the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.
The selection of HOK comes after an international competition that focused the expertise of four elite architectural teams on design possibilities for the new UB medical school.
Four teams of the world’s top architects were selected from among 19 teams in five countries that originally vied for the opportunity to design this building.
The four finalists represent an international shortlist of some of today’s most notable architects. In addition to HOK, they are Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Cannon Design, Rafael Vinoly Architects with Foit-Albert Associates, and Grimshaw and Davis Brody Bond.
Competing teams were challenged to propose design solutions that foster collaboration and interdisciplinary care, and create connections that allow students, faculty, biomedical researchers and clinicians to move easily from classroom to bedside to lab.
The announcement kicks off the next phase of the medical school design process. This phase will include the public exhibition of design ideas submitted by all four competing teams and conversations with university and community stakeholders to inform and guide creation of the final design for the school.
The proposed $375 million medical school, funded in part by NYSUNY 2020 legislation, is a key component of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence, which is intended to benefit students, faculty, staff and the Western New York community.
Groundbreaking for the medical school is slated for fall 2013; construction is anticipated to be completed in 2016. Beginning with the opening of the award-winning William R. Greiner Residence Hall designed by Cannon Design last August, UB will have opened four major new buildings across its three campuses.
Read more on the UB Reporter, http://www.buffalo.edu/ubreporter/2012_05_17/smbs_architect