Duke Student Wellness Center, located at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is a recipient of an American Institute of Architects Healthcare Award for its design. The national award highlights projects with conceptual strength that solve civic, urban, social and sustainability concerns associated with a healthcare setting. The architect on the project was Duda|Paine Architects.
Transforming the outdated clinical model, the Duke Student Wellness Center advances student health by consolidating medical and psychological services into one location. Strategically situated between residential, student services and athletic districts, the Student Center provides services for the mind, body and spirit including preventive programs, physical therapy and pharmacy. This innovative facility fulfills Duke’s mission to meet the highest standards of clinical care and wellness that directly contribute to student’s well-being and success.
To maximize operational efficiencies and create departmental synergies, open-plan, shared provider offices foster collective problem solving and productivity. A monumental, interconnecting stair facilitates movement to different services and supports the design’s social sensibilities, providing views on all levels.
A transparent three-story lobby, with its open timber superstructure, welcomes students and creates an environment infused with natural materials and views of meditative gardens. The lobby also serves as an orientating “umbrella” under which clinical, health and wellness resources come together. Site-harvested chestnut white oak trees were locally milled into veneer, panelized and installed to be used as custom desks and reception walls throughout.
Adjacent to Duke Forest, the Wellness Center creates an opportunity for daily interaction with nature. Every space is filled with natural light and views for students and staff to feel revitalized psychologically and physiologically.