NWTC Health Sciences Addition
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
The addition to the Health Sciences Center includes three distinctive hands-on, real-life learning environments. In the Wellness area of the addition, students will experience real-life learning related to fitness training, exercise, massage therapy, and ultrasounds. This space will also function as an on-campus wellness and health center that students can access for health-related services. In the Caregiver section of the addition, there is a simulated kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom spaces for hospice care and elderly/nursing home training. The Simulation area will train future health care professionals for emergency and ICU procedures and standard patient care. By providing students with a space that promotes collaboration and hands-on, real-life learning, the bar has been raised for the future of caregiving.
At the beginning of the project, a collaborative team was established that included the “end user,” individuals from a variety of local hospitals and healthcare organizations, NWTC facility management, as well as our design team. Together this team toured several similar place types and created a “best practice” for each specific learning environment. These best practices influenced the design of each space to help create the best possible spaces for learning, student engagement, occupant comfort, use of technology, and attention to architectural detail.
- Design included a new prominent entrance for NWTC’s Health Care Education Department, adding another focal element to the campus.
- Exterior design incorporated materials and concepts continuing the rebranding theme Somerville helped NWTC create previously.
- Wellness Area: Students will experience hands-on learning related to fitness training, exercise, massage therapy and ultrasounds.
- The new space quadruples the college’s ability to perform simulation activities that mimic the healthcare workplaces in which graduates will be employed.
- Wayfinding and circulation techniques encourage the use of stairs in lieu of the building elevator.
- The team made a conscious effort to design the learning spaces along the perimeter walls taking advantage of natural light and views, increasing student productivity and alertness.
- Low flow plumbing fixtures and automated lighting, plumbing and HVAC controls were used, as well as a reflective roof surface that will accommodate a vegetative roof in the future.
- A decorative interior stairway, linking the main corridor of the addition to the common area below was designed and included a skylight above the staircase, flooding both spaces with natural light.
- Use of curvilinear ceilings, soffits, walls and floor coverings create an active flow which routes the occupant through the space