Last year, the State University of New York at Buffalo announced that it had selected HOK Architects to design a new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences near downtown Buffalo. Now, almost a year later, more details about the design have been revealed. The new building will be one of the largest to be built in Buffalo in decades, and it will also be one of the city’s most energy-efficient new buildings. With a dramatic six-story glass atrium, it will take full advantage of natural lighting, and the development will include a new station for Buffalo’s subway line, encouraging workers to take public transit.
In addition to rebuilding the existing Allen Street subway station, the new building will add a bike share facility. The building features skylights throughout, further taking advantage of natural daylighting. The building is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The new school will cost $375 million, and it is hoped that it will spark more economic activity in the surrounding neighborhood. The design team intentionally left out dining facilities, encouraging workers and students to patronize local businesses.
Although the building is modern, the architects sought to make it fit in with the existing fabric of the city. “Our goal was to find expression for a new medical school that is comfortable with some of the historical circumstances that surround it and that is typical of sites across Buffalo where new and old work well together,” explained Robert G. Shibley, dean of the UB School of Architecture, who was part of the committee that selected HOK.