AUTHOR: Barbara Horwitz-Bennett
DATE: March/April 2023
SOURCE: Architectural Products
Architectural Products magazine reports on the University of Arizona’s Health Science Innovation Building (HSIB), which stands tall amid the Southwestern desert landscape. The nine-story, 230,000 SF building incorporates multiple custom design features, courtesy of CO Architects. The HSIB opened on campus in 2019, introducing new education and research space for healthcare students.
Below is an excerpt from the article:
“The saguaro cactus only grows in the Sonoran Desert – its ribbed form is uniquely suited to manage the plant’s exposure to the scorching sun. When CO Architects was selected to design the Health Sciences Innovation Building, a project situated in the Sonoran Desert, they took inspiration from the cactus, creating a striking façade equipped to manage glare and solar heat gain.
With its striking terra cotta exterior panels, a variety of gathering hubs and the latest in medical technology, the Health Science Innovation Building combines the University of Arizona’s medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health programs into one consolidated 230,000 sq-ft. hub.”
“Starting with HSIB’s unique exterior, each elevation is individually tuned to minimize heat gain and glare. Inspired by the Sonoran Desert surrounding the University, and the desert saguaro cactus’ ability to self-shade, CO Architects modeled the terra cotta panels to contextually relate to the campus’ rust-colored brick aesthetic and provide shade for the facility. The most prominent east exposure feature’s Boston Valley TerraClad® adobe dark red, custom twisted vertical panels mounted to unitized curtain wall that uses Vitro’s Solarban 90 Starphire high-performance glazing for its vision glass.”
Photo credit: ©Larry Kantor