The Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute/SUNY at Buffalo Clinical Translational Research Center was developed by the private Kaleida Health system and the public SUNY system and designed by Cannon Design. It’s a 10-story, 475,000-square-foot building using a condominium arrangement by which each entity funded its part of the building to meet its own financial structure. The design stacks a translational research building over a clinical vascular institute to create common spaces and an environment promoting collaboration among practicing physicians and scientists.

For flexibility in accommodating future medical and research innovations, the structure is designed as a cube, using a universal grid structural system, 18-foot floor-to-floor heights, and common stairs and vertical shafts placed to one side. Both the building’s vertical and horizontal organization encourages multi-disciplinary collaboration. Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute (GVI) occupies the first through fourth floors, dedicated to clinical operations and emergency services, while the fifth through eighth floors house the University at Buffalo’s Clinical Translational Research Center (CTRC).  Within that configuration, the fourth and fifth floors function as an open collaborative core, encouraging cross-pollination among the groups. 

GVI patients undergoing cardiac, vascular, or neurosurgical procedures in the interventional labs have access to hotel-inspired rooms and concierge services. Upon arrival, patients are directed to a well-appointed private room with en suite bath, which serves as a care hub throughout their stay. The rooms are located on a separate floor from the procedure suites, away from the bustle of the invasive areas. Patients are prepped in their rooms and returned there post-procedure. With a staff core of plug-and-play workstations and meeting rooms, physicians can remain in the collaborative area between procedures. 

Likewise, the CTRC’s research labs are connected to offices by wide bridges across a light-infused atrium. The labs are designed to accommodate multiple sciences, from applied engineering to wet research, to maximize the number of disciplines that can participate in the Center’s collaborative work. Bench labs are located across the hall from the clinical research labs where human subjects are tested.

With a 220-by-230-foot floor plate, standing 190 feet tall, the GVI/CTRC building is essentially a cube. To create visual interest, curved edges and corners were introduced to soften the boxy appearance and the differentiation of adjacent exterior elevations helps minimize building massing. Viewed from a corner, the two different but complementary faces symbolize the building’s two owners’ collaboration. 

A metal ribbon from the building “wrapper” is introduced into the interior. The interior was also enlivened with creative lighting, focal points, bright colors, and warm woods to complement the crisp neutrals of the building palette. To further emphasize the continuity between outside and inside and among groups of occupants, the curvilinear forms of the structure are reintroduced into the millwork and solid surfaces, accented through use of color.