Innovative Medical Education Building Welcomes Students

Phoenix Biomedical Campus Building Exemplifies Interdisciplinary Teaching, Research

 To see the full size photo, click any image.  Photos courtesy of AZBio

To see the full size photo, click any image.

PHOENIX — The physical manifestation of a new, interdisciplinary approach to health sciences education and research has risen in downtown Phoenix.  The eagerly awaited 268,000-square-foot Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) is the newest structure on the 28-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the six-story, $135 million building was created so the state could expand its medical education facilities.  The University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine – Phoenix has expanded its class size and Northern Arizona University (NAU) has increased its health-related offerings in the building. Several hundred people attended grand opening ceremonies for the building on Friday.

The architecturally expressive, sustainable educational facility recently welcomed students, faculty and researchers from the UA colleges of medicine, pharmacy and public health, as well as NAU’s College of Health and Human Services.

“Not only is the Health Sciences Education Building an impressive architectural icon for the city and state, but it is a fundamentally essential building block to creating a better future for the health of Arizonans,” said Arizona Board of Regents Chair Rick Myers.

More than 300 students are training in this one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary facility that can support up to 1,200 students.

“In many ways this is just a beginning,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, during grand opening ceremonies on Friday. “We have a profound opportunity to do something very special for this community and this state. We have the opportunity to ride the crest of health-care reform and set the standards for the way medicine will be practiced in the future.”

The building’s layout facilitates a trend in medical education to teach interprofessional curricula to groups of students, mirroring the reality of the health-care industry in which physicians, nurses, assistants and others work side-by-side.

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus also plays host to the UA College of Pharmacy and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. In addition, NAU has expanded its physical therapy program from Flagstaff to Phoenix and has started a new physician’s assistant program in the building.

“This building is a defining example of cooperation, collaboration and integration for education, health-care and research and development,” Regent Myers said. “The building is a united effort of the City of Phoenix, the Arizona Board of Regents, the UA, NAU, two architects and two general contractors.”

The building, which includes lecture halls, classrooms, learning studios, a simulation center, anatomy labs and offices, is wrapped by 250,000 pounds of recycled copper fabricated by Kovach Inc. of Chandler, Ariz.

Designed by Los Angeles-based CO Architects and the Phoenix office of Ayers Saint Gross, and constructed by the DPR Construction • Sundt Construction, Inc., Joint Venture, the project was delivered on time and on budget, during one of the most difficult economic times in our country.

“HSEB represents collaboration, both in education and architecture,” says Paul Zajfen, FAIA, RIBA, design principal of CO Architects.  “The building merges elements of health programs formerly taught separately, and the design/construction process itself is exemplary of the highest level of teamwork.”

As a “healthy” building itself, HSEB is targeting LEED®-NC Silver certification, due, in part, to the locally sourced recycled copper cladding, east-west orientation that cuts heat gain, abundant natural light, overhangs and sunshades, and vertical fins that control sun penetration on the north.  The architecture is a dramatic response to the structure’s function and to the local climate — inspired by desert earth forms and built from regional materials.

“This building signifies the next phase in the development of the campus and its expanding presence in the downtown core,” notes Jack Black, AIA, LEED AP, principal at Ayers Saint Gross’ Phoenix office.

Project Directors Peter Berg, LEED AP and Kent Bosworth, DBIA, LEED AP, whole-heartedly agree, “The DPR • Sundt, Joint Venture is extremely proud to be constructing the landmark HSEB for the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and to be part of an institution that will serve the State of Arizona for many generations to come.”

A virtual tour of the building is available at

Contacts:         Arizona Board of Regents: Katie Paquet, 602.229.2543,

University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix: Al Bravo, 602.827.2022,

Northern Arizona University: Eric Dieterle 928.225.5042,

City of Phoenix: Sina Matthes 602.534.6648,

CO Architects: Julie D. Taylor, Taylor & Company, 310.247.1099,

Ayers Saint Gross: Nakia Neves, Ayers Saint Gross, 480.921.1515,

DPR Construction: Pamela Maydanis, DPR, 602.808.0500, 602.469.0408

Sundt Construction, Inc.: Linda Obele, Olson Communications, 480.368.7999,



Project Team:

Owner: City of Phoenix

Client: Arizona Board of Regents

Users: University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University

Design and Executive Architect: CO Architects

Associate Architect and Master Planner: Ayers Saint Gross

Preconstruction/Construction Manager at Risk Contractor:

DPR Construction • Sundt Construction, Inc., a Joint Venture

Landscape Architect: JJR

Lighting Designer: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll Lighting

Structural Engineer: John A. Martin & Associates

MEP Engineer:  Affiliated Engineers

Civil Engineer: Dibble Engineering

Climate Engineer: Transsolar Energietechnik

Geotechnical Engineer: Professional Service Industries

Fire Protection/Code Consultant: Rolf Jensen & Associates

Loading/Vertical Transportation Consultant: Lerch Bates

Audiovisual Technology: The Sextant Group

Cost Estimator: Davis Langdon



Al Bravo

Associate Director, Public Affairs

University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

550 E. Van Buren St., Room 1372

Phoenix, AZ 85004-2230

(602) 827-2022 (office)

(480) 329-8893 (cell)



Posted in AZBio News.