Both Compact and Light
The new building for the College of Health and Human Studies at Missouri State University impresses through its sculptural formation. That can be said not only of the volume, but also the spatial organization, which includes a communication zone connecting all floors.
Hubertus Adam The O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center, which opened in 2015, is located at the intersection of East Cherry Street and South Holland Avenue and is the most recent building block of the College of Health and Human Studies. Further west, East Cherry Street is flanked by the Nursing Building on the north and a building for Physical Therapy on the south. The idea was to integrate the Health & Science Center within this context. The responsible architects from the firm Cannon Design, which is represented at fifteen locations in the U. S. and worldwide, achieved this by interpreting the area between the buildings on East Walnut Street as an open space, which forms, as it were, a miniature campus within the campus. This public space continues with the lobby situated behind the main entrance on the northwestern corner of the new building. Here, the volume is cut and glazed in a welcoming gesture.
The university, located as it is in the center of Spingfield, should benefit the city.
Although the inner organization is orthogonal, thereby transferring the logic of the street grid onto the building, one of the architect’s goals for their new university building was to break open the rigid geometry. This is evident not only in the slants and upturns of the entry front, but also in the nooks in the southwest, which mediate to the neighboring residential development; the slightly buckled east façade towards South Holland Avenue; and finally, the folds of the roof. What thus arises is a sculpturally-formed volume whose physicality is emphasized by the all-over cladding with Swisspearl panels in the Carat model, based on the Sigma 8 fixation system. In interplay with the slightly recessed glazing, the horizontally offset panels underscore the building’s compactness, but as a recognizably thin façade skin, likewise empathize its lightness. In this way, the new building creates a counterpoint to the rather heavy seeming limestone structures from the post-World War II decades. However, with the Onyx 7090 color option, it purposely integrates into the existing spectrum of colors.
Want to find out more about this project?
You can find a detailed report including drawings and an exclusive interview with the architect in the Swisspearl Architecture magazine. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue or download the PDF in the download center of our website.
NICE TO KNOW
O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center, Springfield, Missouri, USA
640 E Cherry Street, Springfield, Missouri, USA
Missouri State University, Springfield
Cannon Design, Chicago, David Polzin
Architectural Imageworks, Springfield, Gayle Babcock
2014 – 2015
DeWitt & Associates, Springfield, Missouri, USA
Loveall, Springfield, Missouri, USA
Swisspearl Carat Onyx 7090
PDF project sheet
Click here to download the project sheet