A new supportive and enriching learning environment for growth, advancement, and leadership.
The University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis developed a strategic plan to position itself as a global leader in pharmacy education, collaborative research, and patient centered care. Attracting and retaining acclaimed faculty and bright students was paramount to the success of that mission.
The building seamlessly fuses a wide range of uses, while honoring the critical divisions between quiet study and active collaboration, restful sleep and athletic activity.
The stairs provide primary movement throughout, connecting floors, dividing and uniting uses, and bringing together students and staff at a prominent bend in the building. The resulting collaboration space is surrounded by windows and awash in natural light, drawing occupants to the core, moving students up and down, and serving as a natural gathering space for all within. The articulation of windows and light transform the interior uses from open, bright, and public to more private and quiet spaces.
A new respectful Hope Memorial Garden that connects a University campus community to a serene place of hope, reflection, and celebration.
Grief is already an isolating experience but losing a young college student or young friend due to illness or an accident is devastating. Students at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy Campus were grieving after fellow students passed away prematurely and unnecessarily. Their outpouring of emotion created a call for action, so they approached the school requesting a suitable sacred celebratory place to honor their present and former late classmates. With that heartfelt plea and during the University’s campus master plan development, the design team collaborated with the University, students, and parents to create the new “Hope Memorial Garden.”
Assessment of current campus monuments, gateways, and memorials throughout the public realm, led the team to propose a new home for all to reflect calmly and respectfully. The Garden’s final location is in a secluded corner of the University’s eight-acre campus, offering a unique contrast to the other well-trafficked pedestrian corridors. A superfluous wedge of lawn, shrubs, and trees would metamorphose into a small oasis. Quiet architectural facades protect the site on its south and east, while large trees provide dappled shade to the north, anchoring a diagonal walk that vacillates students from classroom to cafeteria.
The design team developed multiple concepts following collaborative design charrettes with those who suffered a personal loss. Each concept was vetted collectively for its framework, organization, materiality, and artful storytelling. The design needed to fit into the campus aesthetic yet feel distinct, notable, timeless, and elegant. The final design yields a form that is pure, concentric with materials that echo simplicity.
The final memorial comprises many custom elements including a central plaza, low arcing wall, a series of 4’ x 8’ glass memorial panels, and theatrical lighting design. Central to the small gathering plaza, a unit paver field hosts a solemn ipe wood bench. The custom detailing of wood, metal, and lighting are an artful gesture that signifies a place of special importance. This new respectful Garden connects the campus community to a serene place of hope, reflection, and celebration of the lives of those students and dear friends who have prematurely lost their lives.