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Sense of Place


Raclin-Carmichael Hall: Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine
University Business, Feb 2007

Located adjacent to the University of Notre Dame (Ind.) campus, Raclin-Carmichael Hall was built through a partnership that benefits two institutions and the greater community, which faces a shortage of doctors.

FUNCTION: Medical school building for education and research

CHALLENGES: Officials at both Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend and Notre Dame wanted to give faculty the chance to expand research efforts. Biomedical research collaborations were especially sought, in part because grant funding is easier to obtain when institutions are working together, explains Rudolph Navari, a professor of medicine, assistant dean, and director at IU School of Medicine and director of the Notre Dame Cancer Institute. From a design standpoint, placing the medical building adjacent to Notre Dame's main campus entrance meant its characteristic gothic architecture would have to be respected. At the same time, a transition to the residential neighborhood would have to be created, says designer Geoff Lisle of BSA LifeStructures.

SOLUTIONS: The team used proportions, materials, and detailing that would build upon the historic ND campus, also drawing from gothic precedents with a courtyard that forms a cloister shared by the two programs, Lisle says. Along the north side of the building, which faces campus, the building is two stories. It steps down to the residential scale on the other side, "providing an effective transition between the formal academic environment and the mid-century bungalow neighborhood." Massive chimneys are used to conceal lab exhaust fumes.

Inside the 77,000-square-foot facility, the first floor has classrooms and research space for IU faculty members, and the second floor is ND research space (although some research is performed by both institutions). A 250-seat auditorium is used for classes, lectures, and meetings for the schools, as well as functions for local hospitals and the community.

ND graduates who want to go on to med school while remaining on the campus they love for another two years especially appreciate the partnership. Med school students are considered special grad students at ND, with privileges such as access to athletic event tickets and recreation facilities.

IU currently has 16 students per class, and the hope is to expand to 25 per class, Navari says. So far, so good: The enhanced visibility and awareness has helped increase medical student applicants to IU's South Bend campus by about 75 percent, notes Lisle.

PROJECT COST: $17.5 million (split between ND and IU)

DEDICATION: October 2005

ARCHITECT: BSA LifeStructures, Indianapolis


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