Working in association with Heery International, Ballinger designed the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building — a dynamic environment to inspire the next generation of health care professionals.
According to University of Florida President Kent Fuchs, “This new building provides a model for the entire university — architecturally and pedagogically. In this model, teaching is an important driver of our university’s rise among the best universities in the country.”
The state-of-the-art facility supports a modern medical curriculum that emphasizes an integrated patient-centered approach, incorporating active and collaborative learning methods. The building provides two signature learning studios and both small group and individual student study areas.
Previously, medical simulation centers were designed as a series of fixed spaces: an emergency room, an operating room, an ICU, a labor-and-delivery suite, etc. The Harrell Medical Education Building includes a theatrical “set” in which the needs for various simulations can occur by moving the needed components from “stage left” and “stage right.” One day the set can serve as an operating room, and the next day as an emergency room. Alternatively, the set might be divided into an operating room, emergency room and ICU simultaneously. The overall theatrical set can be divided into halves, quarters or eighths.
The interior fabrics and finishes are inspired by the natural environment. Earth tones and timeless materials connect the building to the landscape of Gainesville.