Perkins&Will to Design Jointly Located Lab Facilities for LSU

By Eric Althoff

SHREVEPORT, La.—Architect Perkins&Will’s Houston studio is under contract with Louisiana State University’s Shreveport campus to design an educational and advanced laboratory facility. Accordingly, the Center for Medical Education and the Center for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT) will be located at LSU Health Shreveport, a major teaching hospital in the region. The two facilities will jointly address a dearth of healthcare in the Gulf region.

LSU Health Shreveport entails the School of Medicine, the School of Allied Health Professions and the School of Graduate Studies—and the construction project will allow students to study collectively at the new spaces. The research-centric Center for Medical Education is being designed by Perkins&Will alongside the neighboring Center for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT), which will have a separate third-floor entrance but will be simultaneously accessible from the Center for Medical Education and the nearby School of Allied Health Professions. Both buildings were generated thanks to personnel at both Perkins&Will and Coleman Partners Architects—and collectively they represent the first new construction at LSU Health Shreveport in over a decade.

On the exterior, students and visitors will be greeted by a large superstructure that seems to fly above the entrance plaza. Once inside, the facility is to offer modern spaces that blend recreational and lecture spaces over multiple floors, alongside the traditional clinical experiment spaces and classrooms. Contemporary laboratories will be set up to focus on such specialties as bacteriology, clinical pathology, serology, media prep and cell culture.

The entire building will allow in natural sunlight via rather large windows. The building will also be host to a 500-seat in-the-round auditorium, as well as a 250-set “active learning” classroom replete with up-to-date AV capabilities. Amenities within will include a student wellness center, fitness class areas, meditation spaces as well as spaces devoted to healthy cooking classes.

Lemoine, based in Alabama but operating from several offices in Louisiana, will serve as the project’s general contractor. Lemoine is working with Perkins&Will to coordinate buildout of safe spaces designed for biocontainment, which is especially important when working with potentially dangerous pathogens.

In a statement to School Construction News, Andrew Brown, senior project architect from the Houston studio of Perkins&Will, said that a key aspect of the project will be to fashion a “major destination” at LSU Shreveport as well as update the campus for 21st century medical education.

“The Center for Medical Education and Wellness will be a link between several educational buildings and really helps to stitch a student-centric seam through the campus,” Brown said, adding that the feedback from students and the larger academic community on design renderings has been overwhelmingly positive. “Our team was very focused on bringing the latest best practice design solutions for medical education, learning, and research so that this facility could serve to enhance health outcomes in the local community and beyond. I am excited to see it occupied, and believe people will be surprised with how much this facility supports collaboration and interaction amongst the students and faculty.”