Ball State University leaders sought to bring together multiple departments and to incorporate health, wellness, sustainability and technology within a single building that would be both student-centric and community-serving. Reflecting the project’s interdisciplinary programmatic goals, RATIO’s architects, interior designers and landscape architects worked as an integrated team to create a cohesive design that sets new standards for design and construction on Ball State’s campus, and for interprofessional education at large.
Health Professions Building
Uniting Health Education and Practice
On the leading edge of interprofessional education and practice, the Health Professions Building provides a state-of-the-art facility for Ball State University’s newly formed College of Health and anchors a new East Quad on campus.
The design team conducted site investigations to help locate the new building and worked closely with department chairs to understand what they needed and wanted from a new facility. Connectivity and collaboration were core design drivers. High-tech simulation and research labs, group therapy rooms, open social spaces, an active learning classroom, health library, and demonstration kitchen have all been designed to maximize collaboration and discovery across all disciplines in the building. A first-floor outpatient clinic—one of the first of its kind—gives students invaluable real-world experience, while providing high-quality healthcare to the Muncie community.
Rick Hall, Chair, Ball State University Board of Trustees
The Health Professions Building provides a new home for six departments that were previously scattered across Ball State’s campus: the Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology and Counseling; the School of Kinesiology—Athletic Training Program; the School of Nursing; the Department of Nutrition and Health Science; the Department of Social Work; and the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.
Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Numerous sustainable design features contributed to the Health Professions Building earning LEED Gold certification, including green roofs, solar panels, locally sourced materials, an underground stormwater retention system, low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, daylighting strategies, rain gardens, and geothermal heating and cooling.
A sustainable anchor on the new East Quad, the LEED Gold-certified Health Professions Building plays an integral part in Ball State’s strategy to bolster its health, science and other STEM programs.
The green roofs are designed not only to control water and energy but also to attract birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators; fourth-floor views look out over the rooftop landscape to green campus vistas.
Solid massing on the east-west façade contributes to the Riverside Avenue “edge” established by adjacent buildings, while glass walls facing the courtyard create seamless connections between the architecture and landscape and reveal the energy and movement within the building. Visibility between interior spaces help to bring daylight deep inside the building, and give students a sense of participation and belonging.
Adaptable and Accessible
High-fidelity nursing simulation labs flex to learning labs for several departments within the College of Health, while optimized video-driven data capture technology and infrastructure support hybrid learning, and increase access to interprofessional education, practice and research across the University.
A New Campus Icon
Traditional Ball State red brick and limestone connect with the existing campus context, while a new-to-Ball State terra cotta composition provides contrast and calls attention to the building’s points of entry. The unique use of natural materials, combined with 4- and 5-story walls of transparent glazing, creates a modern aesthetic that makes the Health Professions Building stand out as a new campus icon.