WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building wins architectural awards

Western Carolina University’s (WCU) Health and Human Sciences Building has been honoured for its architectural design, winning wards from two chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The build was design by PBC+L (now Clark Nexsen), who were recognized with a Design Merit Award for the WCU building by the North Carolina chapter of AIA. The firm also was named a recipient of one of the Architecture Honor Awards from the Virginia Society of the AIA.

The building was honoured for offering a “successful contrast to the natural setting out of which it grows” and “carefully pushes in the hillside contours, preserving a sensitive environment and gracefully stepping down the site,” says a written statement from judges in the Virginia competition.

The four-storey, 160,000 square foot building has customized classrooms and seminar rooms, and 21 specialized labs for students in health-related programs. The Health and Human Sciences Building brings students and faculty from disciplines including nursing, physical therapy, communication sciences and disorders, social work, athletic training, emergency medical care and environmental health under one roof.

“As a facility, it provides well-designed space in a very hospitable environment to allow this interaction to take place,” says Galen May, university architect. “The size also allows for programs to grow.”

The building was designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly, and recently received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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