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Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, architecture and engineering firm HED, and architecture firm The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) have started construction on the nine-acre health sciences complex at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), according to a press release Tuesday.
The site — on the corner of Bison and California avenues adjacent to the UCI Research Park — will include a five-story, 135,111 square-foot building for the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences and the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and an adjoining four-story, 77,028-square-foot building for the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. The projected cost is $134 million and the facilities are expected to open in 2022.
“UCI is creating a national ‘one-health’ model for discovery, teaching, and healing that brings together the strengths of the disciplines of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and population health,” Steve Goldstein, vice chancellor for health affairs, said in the release. “These two new buildings, part of our expanded health sciences campus, are designed to foster the creation of the diverse healthcare workforce of tomorrow. The facilities are built to enable interprofessional education and a future of team-based care that benefits from healthcare providers that operate in synchrony to support health and wellness.”
Design strategies for the new buildings on the UCI campus were strongly influenced by biophilia — the human tendency to interact with other forms of life in nature — and attention to wellness at all scales, according to the release. “Occupant access to light, air, views of vegetation and water, and other considerations, all support the overall mission of the complex and the schools.”
The health science complex includes a 150-seat auditorium, a central courtyard that connects with the existing Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, landscape design elements that support activities such as yoga and tai chi, a Zen garden, and a 600-foot-long wellness walk that leads to the School of Medicine’s Biomedical Research Center.
The complex is supported by donations. Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million to the project. The William and Sue Gross Family Foundation committed $40 million to UCI to establish a nursing school and assist in the construction of a new building to house it.