Featured Project: Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
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A Medical School for the 21st Century with a New Model of Medical Education

The first allopathic medical school to open in New York State in more than 40 years graduated its inaugural class this spring. To truly comprehend this new model of medical education, understand that the basic science of medicine is being taught at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in the context of real clinical problems. From the moment students first arrive on campus, the curriculum emphasizes clinical training. Hofstra University is creating lifelong learners who will be the medical leaders of the future. The completion of Phase II on the university’s Hempstead, NY, campus provides a glimpse into what a medical school for the 21st century looks like. 

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Medical School Design, a Hospitable Approach

The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine expansion is the latest addition to this home for medical professional education. HLW designed the new building with extra wide corridors to create a “Main Street,” an innovative concept for medical school design, for this design element is all about “setting the stage for interaction to take place,” said Richard Snyder, HLW Director of Higher Education. Private study rooms, dining and lounge retreats, and inviting, comfortable breakout spaces line the corridor, creating a concentration of movement along this light-filled main circulation path. The program adjacencies also encourage collaboration, whether impromptu or planned, and the building of community among students, faculty and administration.

“Aesthetics can help drive behavior,” said Jennifer Haney, a current HLW Senior Interior Designer for the project. “For Hofstra’s spaces, we wanted to support socialization, collaboration and community among the fast growing population of faculty, staff and students, so we focused on texture, lighting levels, warmer hues, and richer materials—all to encourage a more communal and intimate feel.”

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A Hofstra Architect’s Big Challenge

The new building is located adjacent to the existing 50,000 square foot School of Medicine building, which was also designed by HLW and in its former life was home of the New York Jets summer training facility. HLW won a design competition to create what was originally meant to be a temporary facility. The transformation of the former training facility was such a success, however, that HLW received the commission to expand the facility rather than start from scratch. “The challenge was marrying the old space with the new space and to make it seamless,” said John Gering, HLW Managing Partner on both the original building and the expansion project.

The original School of Medicine building has 16 flexible learning areas, a 108-seat lecture hall, a health sciences library, a structure lab equipped with state-of-the-art technological tools, and a full service café. The new structure adds 63,000 square feet of classroom and office space, including a structural anatomy lab and an ultramodern lecture hall. Inside, the additional classrooms and specialty programming spaces make a significant contribution towards the school’s ambitious new curriculum. Outside, the marrying of old and new is just as seamless; the new exterior is a coherent joining to the original building. 

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Designing Medical Schools for the Future

The following “quick facts/features” speak volumes about what is involved with designing medical schools for the future. For a complete list, click to the Hofstra University website.

  • Building designed to meet highest standards for LEED Silver Rating
  • Theater/lecture hall with seating for 240 people
  • Large group area for 100+ people—with the capacity to subdivide into three individual classrooms
  • Expanded structure lab facility with room for 125+ people—with the very latest in medical-surgical equipment, lighting and technology
  • Former structure lab facility—to become an inviting student lounge, complete with dining and relaxed-seating areas, work stations, and entertainment
  • Student lounge, including dining and lounge areas, work stations, and entertainment—to replace the former structure lab facility in the original building
  • Twelve small group study rooms, each accommodating eight to ten students
  • Approximately 44 faculty and administrative offices, including work space for 15 support staff
  • Dean’s office suite offering a large, formal conference room to accommodate 35 people
  • Single grand entryway for both buildings—a two-story entrance featuring a welcoming 4,800 square foot atrium
  • Alternate roadway to access the medical school complex, with parking for 100 vehicles, to supplement current 80-car lot  
  • New exterior landscaping, outdoor seating and tables, walkway lighting, and half-court basketball
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Photography credit: Halkin/Mason Photography