Competition Held to Design, Build New School of Medicine Downtown

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Published March 1, 2012

UB is holding a competition to select an architecture and engineering firm to design and construct the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

It is the largest new building project in the City of Buffalo in decades.

Competing firms will present their proposals March 16-22. They will be publicly exhibited March 28, and a final selection will be made March 29.

Building a World-Class Health Sciences Campus

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“The architecture of the new medical school should represent the university’s aspirations to build a world-class health sciences campus as part of a UB Downtown Campus. ”
Robert Shibley
Dean, UB School of Architecture and Planning

With the leadership of the State University Construction Fund, UB is organizing the competition to acquire the best talent possible.

“The architecture of the new medical school should represent the university’s aspirations to build a world-class health sciences campus as part of a UB Downtown Campus,” says the competition’s director, Robert Shibley, dean of the UB School of Architecture and Planning.

“Equally important, the building must provide state-of the-art educational, administrative and research spaces that foster academic excellence.”

Design Specifications for UB and Buffalo

Designers will be challenged to place their architectural approach to the project in the context of the surrounding community, Shibley says. The new building will serve as an entrance to downtown Buffalo from the north on Main Street and an entrance into the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus from Allen and North streets.

The space-usage program for the new UB building is being written with a number of priorities in mind, Shibley says.

“We want it to create a ‘front door’ to the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and emphasize its student-learning environment and the interdisciplinary collaboration between the school’s academic departments.”

In addition, the building must feature an environment that supports funded research.

International Field Narrowed to Five Finalists

Of the 19 international firms originally in the running for the contract, the competition selection committee has pared the applicants to five: Cannon Design, Diller Scofidio+Renfro/Gensler, Grimshaw Architects, Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum and Rafael Vinoly.

At a workshop held for competitors last month, UB’s project team discussed the project vision, the city and regional context for the competition as well as the design challenge. Submission requirements for the competition RFP were provided.

At that time, competitors met with the project team and selection committee in an open workshop format, and toured UB’s South Campus and downtown.

Project Included in Next Phase of UB 2020 Strategic Plan

The competition is part of a $375 million plan to relocate the medical school to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The project is part of the next phase of the UB 2020 plan, and is partially funded by a NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant.

When completed in 2016, the new medical school will be in close proximity to UB’s other signature buildings on the medical campus: