Dedication to perpetual innovation and continual improvement is not only how we think; it defines how we operate. CO Architects practise focuses on large and complex institutional, civic, academic, health sciences education, science & technology and healthcare projects. From inception in 1986, CO Architects’ employees have shared the singular goal of creating lasting impact through design for both the communities our buildings transform and the people who use them every day to provide critical services and expand the frontiers of knowledge.
Their design, expertise, technical systems, planning, documentation and project management each play essential, complementary roles that enable them to pursue this goal as a unified team. CO Architects also provides programming, facility evaluation, comprehensive planning and laboratory and medical planning. CO Architects believe they do their best work when their clients entrust them to balance the biggest ideas with meticulous attention to the smallest details.
Cal Poly Pomona Student
The Student Services Building symbolizes the aspirations and mission of the university and serves as a memorable place of arrival for prospective students, returning students, alumni and visitors. It houses the office of the president, division of university advancement, and divisions of academic, student and administrative affairs. The undulating roof design is inspired by the surrounding hills and mountains, branding the building as a campus landmark. The roof also serves a primary and essential role in passive solar design. Its perforated overhangs shade the exterior glass, reduce thermal loads and glare, and maximize good quality daylight. Other passive and mechanical sustainable strategies serve to optimize visual and thermal comfort, operational flexibility and aesthetic sensitivity. It is LEED Platinum certified.
Phoenix Biomedical Campus
The Health Sciences Education Building, an inter-professional academic medical and health sciences training facility, serves multiple programs of two universities in a signature building on a new biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix. The iconic design meets the institutions’ aspirations for identity, sustainability, and powerful new learning environments. The program merges traditional and emergent learning spaces, from advanced classrooms and learning studios to clinical skills and simulation laboratories. The design responds to its urban locale and desert environment. A unique copper façade protects the building from direct solar exposure and provides a ventilated air cavity that helps cool it. Dual building wings create a tall, narrow “canyon” space topped by a PTFE scrim shade that regulates air and light.
Oregon Health & Science University Medical Education Building
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University and Oregon State University are partners in the Collaborative Life Sciences Building & Skourtes Tower, a new allied health, academic and research building. CLSB provides retail space, academic classrooms, lecture halls, teaching laboratories, clinical skills and simulation laboratories, medical research laboratories, and two levels of underground parking. Also part of the overall building project is OHSU’s new Skourtes Tower, housing the school of dentistry clinical training, clinics, and research spaces. The two buildings together comprise 650,000 gsf of new construction. The building is conceived as an innovative model of interdisciplinary health sciences education, research and education, engaging students, faculty and pedestrians through a concept of “health science on display”. It is LEED Platinum certified.
Northern Kentucky University
The new Health Innovation Center & Founders Hall supports a transdisciplinary model of education and research. It houses multiple programs and spaces that bring faculty, students, staff, community and global partners together in one facility for research focused on the patient experience. HIC integrates a range of existing and new programs to develop resources for improving and advancing health and wellness. Flexible lofts are programmed for active learning uses such as specialized clinical skills and simulation space, and serve as a flexible canvas for future evolving uses. Bridges and an open stair connect the collaboration spaces within the top-lit atrium space back to Founders Hall, which contains faculty offices, classrooms and research labs.
Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center
The new hospital provides centralized tertiary services for San Diego County. It serves as a partial replacement facility for the current San Diego Medical Center, providing necessary bed capacity, and accommodating projected membership growth. Phase 1 included 321 beds in a 7-story building that will enable future expansion, central plant, hospital support building, and an expandable parking structure. The first Double LEED Platinum certified hospital in the world, the hospital incorporates reduced energy demand systems (solar, thermal insulation and LED light fixtures), active chilled beams in patient rooms, rainwater utilization, waste recycling, systems utilization with energy recovery options, prefabrication of elements to minimize waste, and consideration of local materials for both landscape and construction.
Kansas City University Center for Medical Education Innovation
The Center for Medical Education Innovation at Kansas City University provides a five-fold increase in simulation space on campus, supports a wide spectrum of competency- and skills-based training, and stands as a regional training destination in the greater Kansas City area. Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, it places technology-rich, light-filled teaching labs in the heart of campus. The CMEI increases the existing clinical skills curriculum and includes 10 simulation rooms, debrief rooms, clinical skills exam rooms, multi-purpose part-task training rooms, classrooms, support rooms, and offices. The striking design addresses the material palette and scale of the university’s architectural past while setting a new and forward-thinking direction for the future.
Kendall Square Laboratory Building
Kendall Square Building B Laboratory provides over 200,000 square feet of private industry biotechnology research laboratory and office space on six levels, 8,000 square feet of retail space on the first level, and a six-level underground parking facility. Part of a mixed-use, life sciences development, it is one of three buildings forming the facades of a new public square created in this recently developed part of Cambridge adjacent to MIT. The design extends the vibrant Cambridge street life into the building via a gently sloped monumental stairway that rises within its six-story atrium. The plan accommodates a full range of laboratory spaces, lab support spaces and offices. It is LEED Gold certified for core and shell construction.
LAUSD Berendo Middle School New Gymnasium & Campus Modernization
CO Architects served as the architect for the design and construction of a new gymnasium building for Berendo Middle School located in the central city area of Los Angeles. The school is vitally connected to the surrounding community, and the new gymnasium celebrates and enhances the connection. The two-story gymnasium sits on a hilly site with windows and a long balcony facing the Wilshire skyline to the north. A large plaza to the south serves as a pre-function space and will be available for community uses. Service spaces and lockers are located on the gym’s lower level with direct field access, and the upper level accommodates a large gymnasium and fitness classroom, as well as concessions and service support areas. The project also converted existing clerical space in the administration building into a much-needed community wellness clinic.
Indio Juvenile and Family Courthouse
The new courthouse will serve families and children in Riverside County with five courtrooms, a self-help center for family law matters, judges’ chambers, and administrative space. The design provides for natural light-filled courtrooms, waiting rooms and public spaces, all within a secure environment. Challenged by the desert climate conditions, the design team carefully evaluated mechanical, electrical and building enclosure systems, and selected new and innovative glass products to help reduce solar heat gain. To achieve new economies and efficiencies within the state courts construction program, the Judicial Council designated this courthouse as a test case for cost reductions to the project budget. CO Architects has designed a striking and well-functioning building that meets all of its programmatic requirements, and it is referenced as a demonstration model for others to follow.
All images courtesy of CO Architects