Buffalo State secured top honors in the education design category and Sheppard Pratt the same in healthcare design. The annual event recognizes premier design work from across Western NY and celebrates all those advancing design culture across the region.
Below is a bit more about each of the winning projects.
SUNY Buffalo State Math and Sciences Complex
The design of the new Science Building is inspired by the programs within its walls, expressing aspects of sciences in physical form.
A three-story, skylit atrium literally puts “science on display,” where students and researchers present collaborative projects in large display windows. This space has been thought of in a geologic sense as walking through a gorge, to relate to the significant role the Niagara Gorge has played in the evolution of modern geology.
The proportion and materiality of the atrium space – a tall vertical space with dappled light, utilizing stone as an interior finish – reinforces this idea. Balconies, alcoves and open bridges on all floors encourage casual meetings and quiet study.
Sheppard Pratt Behavioral Health Hospital
Creating a sense of belonging and community is paramount to this space, and drawing inspiration from the surrounding forest helped further this goal. Interior courtyards and exterior pathways offer a variety of opportunities for connecting with the nearby hills, hollows, creeks and wetlands while maintaining patient privacy and safety.
And just as forest trees create a symbiotic ecosystem, the various environments within evoke support and protection. All areas of the hospital flow seamlessly into one another, based on adaptable design considerations for the level of safety needed in each space.
Ceiling elements imitate tree canopies, providing a feeling of protection in larger, open spaces. Wood battens on the lobby wall conjure the image of a cluster of trees standing strong together, similar to mental health patients’ reliance on community support during their time in the building.