October 2008 Download PDF

The research center is the first new building under National Institute of Health’s grant-making program for translational science; the sustainable facility will foster a creative scientific environment for the discovery and development of medical therapies.

Rochester, NY, October 27, 2008 – The University of Rochester today announced the groundbreaking for a new Clinical and Translational Science Building (CTSB) to house its Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Designed by Francis Cauffman Architects, the 200,000-square-foot facility will create an integrated home for the school’s clinical and translational science program. The building will bring researchers and clinicians together under the same roof in order to accelerate the translation of breakthrough medical discoveries into effective clinical treatments. The building contains 11 departments with offices for faculty and researchers, a clinical trials suite, a public health resource center, a conference center, and an athletic center.

David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and director of the CTSI, said, “With the completion of the Clinical and Translational Science Building, the University of Rochester will continue its innovation and leadership in breakthrough scientific research. The synergy created by scientists working side by side will accelerate the process of harnessing scientific discoveries to develop preventive treatments, diagnostic procedures, and medical therapies that improve patient health.”

In 2006, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry was granted one of the first National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards for clinical and translational research that is aimed at improving the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. CTSA projects are intended to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical and translational researchers. The NIH call for applications was a catalyst for the University of Rochester to propose the CTSB as a means to create stronger connections between the research and clinical settings in the same building, therefore enabling swifter, more creative exchange of information. The NIH award to the University was the largest in the school’s history. The CTSB is also the first new building created under the CTSA program.

In addition to receiving a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health, the University received $50 million in support from New York State Governor David Paterson and the New York State Assembly in the 2008-09 budget. The CTSB will be a major catalyst for development in upstate New York, creating an estimated 600 new jobs in the Rochester area and potentially creating more employment opportunities statewide and nationally. The CTSB is also expected to generate an additional $25 million in external research funding per year. A study by the Center for Governmental Research, an independent economics consulting firm, projected a net $30 million impact on the economy of greater Rochester by the fifth year of CTSB operations.

The CTSB is part of the first major new science building on the southwest side of University’s Medical Center in 80 years, which was designed in the early 1920s by Gordon and Kaelber of Rochester with consulting architects McKim, Mead & White of New York City. The new research facility will serve as the crossroads between the southern, eastern, and western sectors of the campus. Joined by an atrium to the School of Nursing’s Helen Wood Hall, the two buildings share a double-height, light-filled lobby. This connection will also facilitate collaboration between the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Nursing’s research and education programs. The development of this building is consistent with the Medical Center’s future master plan, which calls for growing its research campus to the south and west.

James Crispino, Francis Cauffman’s principal-in-charge for the project, explained that “Francis Cauffman’s design introduces a new state-of-the-art architectural approach to the campus that is welcoming to the public and conducive to research. The design of the CTSB will match the building’s innovative research and clinical activities and set the standard for future dry research buildings at the University of Rochester Medical Center campus.”

The CTSB embraces changes in medical education, new technologies, and sustainability. As the public face of the CTSI, it has an open, welcoming appearance that conveys the interactive nature of the programs within it. Richard Beck, Francis Cauffman’s director of design, describes the building as “a long, sleek form with large areas of glass mixed with red brick to match the original buildings on campus. To create comfortable spaces for research inside the building, we gave the east-west façade a slight twist. As a result of its elongated shape, east-west orientation, and high ceilings, all of the interior offices will have exposure to natural light and exterior views, while glare and heat gain will be minimized.”

Inside the building, Beck explains, “An open stair connects the top three levels of the CTSI, which are the research floors. This long circulation spine will act as a public space where researchers can meet and interact. Along the staircase, we have planned a glass feature wall with artwork that will reflect the research activities of the building.”

The building will introduce a new workplace methodology for the 11 research departments, now scattered throughout the campus, which will be consolidated on the three top floors of the CTSB. Each floor will contain two to three departments. John Campbell, Francis Cauffman’s principal-in-charge of workplace strategies, describes how the research floors are “a new model for the Medical Center campus, because they are open and fluid environments that maximize visibility and natural light. Workstations will be located along the building perimeter, and the front walls of the enclosed offices and meeting areas will be made of glass. On each floor, we have included a ‘commons area’ with break rooms and conference rooms next to the elevators and the open staircase, where researchers can meet in both formal and informal ways.”

The University of Rochester is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which will make the CTSB the first LEED-certified building on campus, furthering the University’s commitment to realizing significant reductions in energy and water usage, as well as improved indoor environmental quality. The design team is also using energy reduction measures, including building design/engineering energy modeling, building commissioning, and high-efficiency equipment in order to participate in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) programs for energy conservation, which provide assistance for sustainable building practices.

About the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
The University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is a national leader in the expanding field of clinical and translational research. With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the CTSI brings together scientists and physicians at the University of Rochester and upstate New York to collaborate on innovative research in order to accelerate the process of developing new preventive interventions, diagnostic procedures, and treatments.

About Francis Cauffman Architects
The largest architectural office in Philadelphia, Francis Cauffman has provided buildings for academic and scientific institutions, pharmaceutical companies, health systems, corporations, and government agencies since 1954. With a staff of more than 185 architects, planners and interior designers, the firm is widely known for buildings producing break-through research and creativity. Francis Cauffman has worked with major academic institutions including the University at Buffalo, University of Pennsylvania, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Back to News