Charlottesville, Va. — The Education Resource Center (ERC), designed by Los Angeles-based CO Architects, is now under construction to fill a gap within the University of Virginia’s medical campus in Charlottesville.  The four-level, 46,000-square-foot facility is being built for the University of Virginia Health System on a tight site between the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and a hospital parking garage.  The new building is located across the street from the front entrance of the University of Virginia Medical Center and railroad tracks at the rear.

“The Education Resource Center takes advantage of its strategic location and is designed as a simple connector to allow people access to the cancer center, hospital, and garage,” says Paul Zajfen, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal at CO Architects, which also designed the Claude Moore Medical Education Building for UVA School of Medicine. 

Due to open in 2016, the ERC comprises four levels to support educational programs and patient services.  The basement will be used for diagnostic procedures, including radiology and MRI scans, and a pharmacy is planned for the ground floor.  The second floor is designed with multi-purpose learning spaces and a procedural simulation lab for graduate medical education.  It will provide access to an enclosed walkway leading over the street from the parking garage to the hospital lobby.  On the top floor, which is set back from the lower levels to minimize the building mass on the constricted site, future offices, learning environments, and additional simulation spaces are planned.

CO Architects is collaborating with Train & Partners of Charlottesville to achieve a LEED Silver rating for the project.  The main façade will be sheathed in high-performance, fritted glass, and shaded by a metal canopy extending from the second level.  Next to the railroad tracks, the rear exterior wall will be clad in brick.

The new ERC’s green roofs will absorb stormwater runoff and provide visual interest from the hospital’s patient rooms across the street.  Grass-planted, sloping planes will extend from the concrete-paved plaza at the front of the building to the second level and basement.  An outdoor staircase provides access from the plaza to the second-floor educational spaces.  Benches provide waiting places next to the drop-off area at the street.

Project Team

  • Architect: CO Architects
  • Associate Architect: Train & Partners Architects
  • Landscape Architect: Siteworks
  • Lighting Designer: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll
  • Structural Engineer: Nolen Frisa Associates
  • MEP/FP Engineer: Bard, Rao + Athanas
  • Civil Engineer: RMF Engineering
  • Geotechnical Consultant: Schnabel Engineering
  • Audio/Visual Acoustics: The Sextant Group
  • Contractor: Donley’s McCarthy