HKS design new facility for Edison State College in Florida
The Allied Health Building is a 44,000 sq ft classroom and lab building for Edison State College’s Collier County Campus. The primary focus of the building is the training and preparation of nursing and applied sciences students. The successful design approach was to break up each programmatic category - office, classrooms, labs and auditorium and organise it about a central 2-storey space, axiomatically labeled 'The Green Wedge'. Each of these program elements was delineated with a unique materiality responding to its use and solar orientation.
Before the project could even begin, the campus master plan updated to incorporate significant outdoor green spaces, supporting both formal and informal student activities, as well as creating a stronger campus identity. The existing 80-acre master plan was re-evaluated and updated so that it was better aligned with the new and planned building projects, as the academic mission of the institution was refined.
The new Student Center building, in addition to several future buildings, was re-located in order to formalise the approach of the main campus entrance from the south and increase the density of the campus. This development of the Green Wedge was significant to the changing pedagogy in today’s higher education environments, providing a true informal learning environment intended for unstructured student activities that best support the processes of learning. Movable seating and collaborative work spaces are provided at key points outside of and between the labs and classrooms. A bar of offices for administrative and teaching professionals is connected to the labs and classrooms by bridges playfully passing overhead through this common area.