ETSU - Inter-professional Education & Research Center

The project is a renovation of the existing, circa 1905 building #60 on the VA Medical Campus in Johnson City, TN, a National Historic Landmark. The new design implements a 38,000 square foot inter-professional education and research space for the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. Users include the College of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Clinical & Rehabilitative Health Sciences and Public Health. The inter-professional education and research center is programmed and designed to provide a greatly enhanced collaborative teaching / learning experience for related and interdependent disciplines: medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, nursing , emergency medical technicians (EMT) and therapy.

The highlight of the recently completed facility is a suite of “HI-Fi” (high fidelity) simulation suites. Here and throughout the built program a priority centered around scalable, adaptable spaces; “right-fitted” to afford maximum utilization and flexibility. Simulation Suites and Skills Bays are furnished with demountable partitions and curtains so that spaces may be opened up to accommodate didactic instruction of larger groups.

Other salient spaces include a mock Outpatient Clinic, simulated Pharmacy with mock retail and compounding lab, Home Healthcare with Daily Living Suite. The basement level floor was excavated to create the height to accommodate a 140-seat Lecture Hall. The basement horse stable, original to the structure, is now a modern commons, conference and simulated emergency medical services.

The project required a focused sensitive approach to design considering the historic nature of the existing structure and the advanced technology and teaching methods to be housed. Located in a very active ongoing medical / educational campus; phasing, safety and circulation of staff and students was of the utmost importance. The design team and administration were diligent to maintain traffic patterns and pedestrian circulation throughout the demolition and construction period.

The existing four story building was constructed of heavy timber frame and decking, with load bearing brick exterior walls, for use as a commissary. The circulation pattern is anchored by generous Commons incorporating lobbies, reception, gathering, “grab-n-go” food court and vertical circulation.

Program and design relied on “day in the center” scenario planning addressing, for example: behavioral modalities, in-patient, exams, surgical simulation, trauma, triage, etc. “Group-size” determination of program spaces was key. The design embraces the diversity of learning experiences: immersive, integrated, informal, procedural, team-based, convergence of physical with virtual, self-directed.