The School of Nursing at University of Alabama, Birmingham received an Honorable Mention from AIA Alabama’s Design Awards Program. This addition and renovation adds new classroom, office and research space to meet significant enrollment growth the School of Nursing. Payette was Design Architect, with Williams Blackstone Architects as Architect of Record.
The project is efficiently designed to maximize use of the existing footprint with both new and renovated spaces; and the layout is planned to maximize usable net area within the building envelope. The carefully orchestrated combination of exterior vertical fins and horizontal shades creates a unique look on the main thoroughfare of the University’s campus, while controlling solar access and tying into the context of unique façade features of the surrounding buildings.
A combination of new and renovated space on the ground floor concentrates classrooms, skills labs and the Nursing Competency Suite on one level. The classrooms can also be combined to form a single “Great Hall” for large gatherings and conferences. Combined with the student lounge on the second floor, this provides a high level of activity and vitality. The open staircase located at the bridge between the new and existing buildings provides circulation and both visual and physical connection at all levels – it is the “synapse” where collaboration and communication occur.