HLW International: Transforming the Future of Higher Education at Hofstra
Nov. 30, 2015 — HLW International’s innovative architectural design of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine set the stage that enabled this groundbreaking institution to establish a new standard for educating future healthcare providers.
The first allopathic medical school in New York State in over 40 years, it is also the first institution of its kind — created in partnership with a healthcare provider.
The medical school is at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y.
HLW’s strategy was to emphasize collaboration, community, and socialization in the design of the space, facilitating a new approach to teaching aspiring doctors. This advanced model for medical education has sparked a trend, and other institutions are following suit.
HLW’s partnership with Hofstra began almost a decade ago, and culminated in the complete transformation of an existing 50,000-square-foot facility, and the opening of a state-of-the-art 63,000-square-foot addition.
HLW won a design competition to overhaul the former New York Jets’ training facility located on Hofstra’s North Campus to be used as Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine’s temporary location. Upon completion, the school was so impressed with the renovation that it decided to make the temporary home permanent, and contracted HLW to build a ground-up addition.
HLW rose to the challenge of how to best join the new building to the existing structure, determining multiple points at which the two could be physically conjoined and aesthetically unified.
The challenge, according to John Gering, managing partner of HLW, “was marrying the old space with the new space and to make it seamless.” He continued, “Our philosophy is about creating a culture — where do people learn? Where will they work? The curriculum is innovative, and the environment needed to reflect that.”
Intrinsic to HLW’s design strategy were the themes of community and adaptability. The new facility features a number of collaborative spaces organized around a “Main Street” corridor, designed to facilitate interaction. Faculty offices situated around an open lounge area encourage conversation with students, providing them with unprecedented access to faculty and an opportunity to connect in a less structured environment. Flexible classroom space is supported by three multipurpose classrooms with partitions that can be opened or closed to create one large lecture hall. Even the tables of seminar classrooms are designed to accommodate changing learning environments.
Through innovative design, HLW created an atmosphere that fosters learning and conversation, while seamlessly integrating a brand-new building with an existing facility. Throughout the design process, HLW collaborated with the School of Medicine administration and faculty because their input was integral to creating the best learning environment for their students.
HLW’s technical design expertise enabled the firm to excel in designing the medical school's Structural Anatomy Lab, where students study the human anatomy in controlled laboratory conditions. The lab was designed with precise temperature controls to facilitate the use of the cadavers to provide students hands-on exposure to clinical problems.
The full scope of work included 16 flexible learning areas, a 108-seat Medical Education Theater and lecture hall, a health sciences library, a structure lab, and a full-service café, located in the original building. The new structure provides Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine with an additional theater and lecture hall to seat over 240 students; an expanded structure lab to accommodate over 125 students; a new student lounge with dining areas, work stations, and entertainment areas; a new Dean’s suite with a large formal conference room; and offices for about 44 faculty and administrative staff.
Connecting the two buildings is a single, two-story entryway with a 4,800-square-foot atrium and a grand staircase. The scope also included new exterior landscaping, outdoor seating and tables, walkway lighting, a half-court basketball court, and an additional 100 parking spaces.
HLW is an award-winning architecture, engineering, interior design, and consulting firm, headquartered in New York City, with offices in New Jersey, Los Angeles, London, and Shanghai. For more information, visit www.hlw.com.