Ellenzweig provided programming, laboratory and education-facilities planning and design, and architectural design for this new seven-story teaching facility for Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. The building, which achieved LEED Gold certification, includes teaching labs, research labs, classrooms, library, clinical skills center, simulation center, anatomy labs, virtual microscopy labs, lab support, meeting rooms, lounges, student areas, and offices. The variety of teaching venues includes large and mid-size lecture halls, flexible classrooms, and small-group-learning seminar rooms.
The Secchia Center is located in downtown Grand Rapids within the Michigan Street Development, a commercial medical community; Spectrum Health and the Van Andel Institute are across the street.
The building is constructed atop an existing five-story parking garage. A significant challenge was designing a new facility and developing a cladding system for the original structure that, when constructed, results in a unified building. A cast stone, of the same light color as the adjacent building, was selected to clad the building and the garage. Metal fins, painted the same color as the stone, fulfill the dual roles of façade accents and sunshades. The roof canopy is an element that further distinguishes the building on its highly visible site overlooking the urban landscape and the Grand River.
As stated by President Lou Anna K. Simon, the mission for the Secchia Center is to “bring to life a one-of-a-kind model for medical education and research in the 21st century. This new approach blends key elements of a classical medical education center with MSU’s traditional strength in community-based medical education.” The University regards the project as and opportunity to advance the power of genomic medicine, and significantly advance MSU’s activity in research, both in East Lansing and Grand Rapids.
Ellenzweig served as Design Architect and Laboratory/Educational Facilities Planner, working in association with URS, Architect of Record.