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Kaleida Health, Gates Vascular Institute and University at Buffalo Clinical Translational Research Center

Cannon Design

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cwhitcomb, CannonDesign

Project Name

Kaleida Health, Gates Vascular Institute and University at Buffalo Clinical Translational Research Center

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Year Completed



Kaleida Health & SUNY Buffalo


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Project Description

Both Kaleida Health and the University at Buffalo (UB) recognized that increasing multidisciplinary collaboration and accelerating the bench-to-bedside cycles for medical breakthroughs would require a fundamental change in culture. In collaboration with these organizations, we undertook in-depth research into how design could integrate the full cycle of translational processes and accelerate discoveries for both entities. The result is a one-of-a-kind facility planned as a cornerstone of a world- class academic medical center in downtown Buffalo.

The facility achieves these goals by stacking a translational research building over a clinical vascular institute. The first four floors of this 10-story “vertical campus” house the Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), with the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) occupying the top half of the building. Sandwiched between the two is a two-level “collaborative core”—the “binder” that connects doctors and researchers from varying specialties to meet in a variety of dynamic situations to accelerate medical discoveries— moving science from the bench to the bedside.

For maximum flexibility to accommodate future medical and research innovations, the structure is designed as a cube, with a universal grid structural system, 18-foot floor-to-floor heights, and stairs and vertical shafts placed on one side. The cube itself is wrapped on two sides with fritted glass that captures the spirit of energy and innovation. Baffles shade the glass curtainwall to the east and west to control heat transfer while admitting natural light. The flowing ribbons on the exterior convey a futuristic feel, but also allude to the study of vessels, appropriately. Inside, a modern design aesthetic mirrors the curvilinear form of the exterior and is filled with creative lighting, focal points, bright colors and warm woods that counter play with the crisp neutrals of the building palette.

The building was delivered via a public-private partnership, which saved the state of New York and the not-for-profit Kaleida Health $20 million through the economies of a joint build while providing UB/SUNY with a state-of-the art research facility with 32 new wet labs nearly three years sooner than the school could have on its own.

"CannonDesign has created a place that will fundamentally transform our academic medical enterprise. The unique combination of interdisciplinary scientific and healthcare facilities will not only enable us to attract and retain the very best physician scientists, but provide a springboard to the new partnerships and income streams so necessary to compete effectively at a national and international level." - Michael E. Cain, MD, Dean, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University of Buffalo

Through a unique public private partnership, project was delivered 2 years ahead of schedule with $20m of savings over traditional procurement.
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