Education Resource Center to Debut at UVA Medical Campus

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — St. Louis-headquartered McCarthy and Richmond, together with Va.-based contractor Donley’s, are currently constructing the new Education Resource Center (ERC) at the University of Virginia’s (UVA) medical campus in Charlottesville. Construction officially broke ground in October 2014.

Los Angeles-based CO Architects, alongside locally based Train & Partners Architects, designed the ERC. The four-level, 46,000-square-foot facility is being constructed for the UVA Health System on a tight site across from the UVA Medical Center, between the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and a hospital parking garage.

“The Education Resource Center takes advantage of its strategic location and is designed as a simple connector to allow people access to the cancer center, hospital and garage,” said Paul Zajfen, FAIA, RIBA, design principal at CO Architects, in a statement.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the ERC will support educational programs and patient services. The basement will feature a pharmacy and will be used for diagnostic procedures, including radiology and MRI scans. The second floor will house multipurpose learning spaces and a procedural simulation lab for graduate medical education. It will provide access to an enclosed walkway that will lead over the street from the parking garage to the hospital lobby. The top floor, which is set back from the lower levels to minimize the building mass, will feature future offices, learning environments and additional simulation spaces.

CO Architects and Train & Partners Architects are working together to achieve a LEED Silver rating for the project. The building’s main façade will be sheathed in high-performance, fritted glass and shaded by a metal canopy extending from the second level. The facility’s rear exterior wall, located next to nearby railroad tracks, will be clad in brick. 

The ERC’s green roofs will absorb stormwater run-off and provide a garden-like visual to observe from the hospital’s patient rooms across the street. Grassy, sloping planes will extend from the concrete-paved plaza at the front of the building to the second level and basement. An outdoor staircase will offer access from the plaza to the second-floor educational spaces, and benches will provide waiting places next to the drop-off area at the street. 

CO Architects has a long history designing academic medical campuses, including the Claude Moore Medical Education Building for the UVA School of Medicine. The McCarthy and Donley’s team is also working on a separate $18 million HVAC project for the UVA Medical Center, which began in August 2013. The team is replacing 11 air-handling units in a two-year project expected to wrap up by August 2015.