Nestled in the McDowell Mountains, a prestigious medical school expanded its training facility to provide a complete four-year branch campus, at its Scottsdale, Arizona location. The challenge for the Medical Education Center was to re-imagine a 1990s office building into an open, transparent learning center for 21st century medical education. Existing windows were sawcut to the floor line to create new visual and physical connections into student collaboration spaces and the surrounding desert landscape.
The interior program is organized around a simple circulation system, identified by wood plank ceiling spines that connect the exterior landscape to the central cores of the program. Opportunities for engagement occur along these spines while increasing the amount of natural daylight into the internal program spaces. The new facility accommodates 50 students and provides a state-of-the-art classroom, video-enhanced simulation rooms, a learning and procedural skills anatomy lab, lecture hall, student resources center, students commons area, student support spaces, conference rooms, and faculty administrative offices.