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Creating a Center for Healing

Utah State University
Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence, Utah State University

The Center for Clinical Excellence was envisioned as an unprecedented resource for healing and health of the local community and beyond. Ten different locations had been spread throughout USU’s campus and a new, central, exciting, and inviting landmark was sorely needed.


Conceptually, the building is divided into two wings. The clinic wing of the building allows each level to step in, providing an unobtrusive transition from the education quad to the southwest, and providing roof gardens for users to experience the building and outdoors from different vantage points. The academic/research wing of the building carefully responds to the clinic wing by stepping out at select locations. The main level floats on a wall of glass, juxtaposing the anchored clinic wing and allowing the lobby, café, teaching kitchen, and art gallery to invite all within view to experience and enjoy the space.


The perception of healing was constantly considered throughout the development of the building concept. This was enhanced by the idea of incorporating vegetation at the heart of the building and understanding the positive effect it could have on the user’s experience. Thus, the central open air courtyard was conceived as a lush oasis providing open areas and private nooks with different types of vegetation used to beautify the area all year long.


Overall, this strong, well-executed concept now allows the building to serve as a social and academic hub, as a forum to exchange ideas and advancements in clinical research, and as a center for care and healing.