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FLCC | Center for Allied Health

Canandaigua, New York

Winner of 2023 AIA Rochester Design Excellence Award

Responding to a regional and national shortage of skilled health care professionals, Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) set out to create a new Center for Allied Health. Seeking to expand and update the existing Nursing Program, a renovation and additions project was conceived to triple the amount of space.

The instructional program elements included: simulation hospital patient bays, control rooms for instruction and testing, debriefing rooms for analysis, simulation medicine rooms, a laundry room, a classroom, and two large flexible skills labs. In addition, a state-of-the-art hololens lab for medicine-based augmented reality instruction, was also developed. Support spaces such as offices, staff workroom, storage areas, and lounges were intermixed with the instructional spaces.

Referencing FLCC’s Master Plan, a new entrance and lobby, providing a much-needed accessible path from the south parking lot, was incorporated. Replacing a decades-old ‘temporary’ trailer, a building addition, with a canopied focal point, terminates a curving sidewalk that leads students, faculty, and guests into the campus.

Once in the lobby, a stairwell, that aligns with the primary north-south circulation spine, allows sunlight down to the lower level. The lobby provides gathering and meeting opportunities, restrooms, and a future connection to later-phase instructional space.

The material palette is contextual, neutral, and accented by biophilic elements. Cast-in-place concrete, prevalent with the original Brutalist-style building, was used for the foundation and main stair. The curtainwall is designed with deep mullions and sunshades to control natural light. Ceiling clouds, constructed of wood slats, hang below linear light fixtures to provide diffused artificial light. The subterranean, lower-level instructional spaces feature large-scale murals. The images were obtained from FLCC’s Fine Arts Program through a student competition themed upon Finger Lakes nature.

The overall layout allows for flexibility of instruction and adaptability of curriculums, offering a ‘real life’ hospital wing experience, while promoting spontaneous breakout meetings, discussions, and interactions.

With this significant capacity increase, FLCC has responded to its growing nursing enrollment, and the Center for Allied Health is poised to prepare future healthcare professionals for the workforce in this critical field.

Photos by Tim Wilkes Photography

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