Students first!

The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, which opened in January, is designed for students. Whether they are in team meetings, engaged in intense quiet study, hanging out, or even having naps, every imaginable kind of space is available to them.

The 578,000-square-foot building supports interdisciplinary education and research in health science. The challenge was to nurture connectivity and interaction in a large building that runs the length of two football fields. The design solution is a light-filled interior Main Street. Team meetings can take place right on Main Street with furniture that is regularly reconfigured by the students. Students cramming for exams can retreat into small, restricted access rooms overlooking Main Street. 

Student organizations meet informally in the Student Commons on comfortable sofas and easy chairs or more formally at tables in the large meeting room. At the lowest level, Main Street is terminated by a long leather sofa – a perfect spot for rest and meditation. The fun factor (and wayfinding) comes from the building’s colour coding – red, orange and yellow at the north end and green and blue at the at the south end – which appears in the signage, feature walls and student lockers.

The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy was designed by HOK in association with Stantec Architecture. It is an integral component of the University of Alberta Health Sciences precinct and houses 12 Health Science departments and schools from six health-related faculties.