Loyola University Chicago

Projects : health  
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Stritch School of Medicine, Medical Education Building
Maywood, IL
211,000 gsf
$32,000,000
1997; 2011 (simulation center study)

The Stritch School of Medicine building continued Ellenzweig's innovative exploration of changing medical education that began at the Harvard Medical School. The Medical Education Center is organized into learning clusters that support independent and small group study - rather than large lecture halls and wet labs. Labs and lecture halls are included, but the broad pedagogical emphasis is to encourage students to learn from one another. The overall program includes multi-purpose classrooms, discussion classroom, large lecture halls, clinical skills suite with separate video viewing area, anatomy labs, microbiology teaching labs, student lounges and activity areas, and administrative offices.

The building is organized around a three-story atrium that serves as the social center of the building, for informal meetings as well as more formal presentations and gatherings. In this sense, it serves as a focal point for the entire medical area. The main public spaces - lobby, cafeteria, administrative offices, conference areas - are located on the first floor, connected to the rest of the campus by an enclosed walkway. The medical school facilities are located on the second and fourth floors, where two identical wings contain learning clusters, examination rooms, and small classrooms, similar to the case-method classrooms in many business and law schools. Large windows bring natural light into offices and corridors.

The facility is intended as an embodiment of Loyola's commitment to innovative medical education. The combination of metal, glass, and variegated precast-concrete panels in shades of gray creates a dynamic interplay of forms and textures. A metal canopy marks the main entrance, and a gentle curve, expressive of the lecture halls within, offers an effective counterpoint to the rectangular geometry of the rest of the building.

In 2011, Ellenzweig completed a study for a clinical integration and simulation center to be located within the Medical Education Building.