Health Learning Building at UT Dell Medical School
The Health Learning Building is part of the Dell Medical School located in the medical district on The University of Texas central campus. The new building was conceived to become “the centerpiece of the Medical District, and incorporates the principles of the Medical District Master Plan.”
The building is comprised of 5 stories and includes approximately 85,000 GSF of offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms. The structural system for the building consists of a mild-reinforced cast-in-place concrete slab and post-tensioned cast-in-place concrete pan formed beams and girders. The Ground Level features a Team Based Learning lecture hall with a large column free space. The goal for this building was to train medical students using a more collaborative model and this spacious lecture hall allows for just that. This is made possible by means of specially designed post-tensioned transfer beams that transfer two of the building columns above. Faculty offices are located on Level 2, medical student academies are located on Level 3 and teaching and anatomy labs are located on Level 4. The Deans’ Office and other support staff are all located on Level 5.
To help the architect realize their vision for the critical ‘Social Edge’ of the building, Walter P Moore designed the north edge of the building to cantilever up to 22 feet to allow for very open spaces and striking views of the rest of the medical district and a park to the north of the building. Early in the design of the critical ‘Social Edge,’ Walter P Moore took the initiative to model design options for structuring this part of the building in a manner that allowed the architect to proceed with their design unencumbered by the structure. With this open stair from the first to fifth level, not only is physical activity encouraged, but allows for more of the desired collaboration between students and faculty.