University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Building

Cincinnati, Ohio
A Social Mixing Chamber

Inspiring learning, accelerating discovery and promoting healing: the foundation for the University of Cincinnati’s new Health Science Building combines high performance construction and cutting-edge design to support the future of science, research and transdisciplinary learning. This new center with a holistic approach to patient care supports students’ academic success, and is a key driver for an integrated healthy medical campus.


Integrated education with practice is essential. Inter-professional, problem-based learning demands unique spatial solutions and technological applications. The building’s program has been distributed into two splayed bars which form the central atrium space that serves as the hub for social and collaborative interaction. Three generous monumental stairs are distributed in and around the central atrium and encourage pedestrian movement between the levels as part of teaching physical therapy rehabilitation and reinforcing the notion of healthy activity through design. Spaces need to foster collaboration among nurses, physicians, pharmacists, dentists and allied health professionals and encourage serendipitous encounters for the exchange of ideas that blur the boundaries between disciplines and roles.


The modular, flexible plan allows the program and space to evolve over time and provides diverse teaching spaces. Here, providers are prepared to be agile, collaborative and inspired. The building is not only a hub for learning and training, it also serves the local community through its clinic and acts as a beacon for UC’s personalized outreach programs within the greater Cincinnati region.

A unified home creates community by bringing several major departments together under one roof.
What makes it cool
The building provides dynamic spaces that support hands-on learning and prepare students for their careers.
“We wanted a building with plenty of light and a healthy atmosphere, to encourage collaboration among the Academic Health Center colleges,”

Dale Magoteaux, University of Cincinnati.

The building provides dynamic spaces that support hands-on learning and prepares students for their careers.
The building conceals a variety of thermally broken systems, including double slabs, structural thermal isolators, and insulated precast concrete panels.

Triple silver glazing and a vertical brise soleil control solar heat gain while preserving natural light and views. A rainwater cistern is used for site irrigation.

Active design principles informed the dynamic circulation in the four-story atrium.
Setting the building back from the street allowed the team to add more green space on the site, increasing connections to surrounding buildings on the medical campus and providing a new quad for socialization and relaxation.

Project Team

Jessica Figenholtz
Mark Jolicoeur
Thomas Mozina
Ralph Johnson
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