HDR Celebrates Opening of Johns Hopkins All Children’s New Research and Education Building
HDR joined Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in celebrating the grand opening of their new Research and Education building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. The building, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the first new facility opened since Johns Hopkins Medicine and All Children’s merged in 2011.
Designed by HDR, the facility serves as the “town center” for academic activities on campus, helping transform the hospital from a regional pediatric referral center to a leading pediatric academic health system focused on research, teaching, and patient care. Built on a site adjacent to the hospital, the facility houses research laboratories and academic offices that unite treatment, education, research, and advocacy for four of Johns Hopkins All Children's key institutes: neurosciences, cancer, cardiology and neonatology.
“The Research and Education Building will stand as a center for innovation in St. Petersburg, bringing together some of the brightest minds in pediatric research and education,” said Jonathan Ellen, M.D., president and vice dean at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. “From scientists to medical residents, everyone in this building will be focused on improving treatment and preventing childhood diseases.”
In addition to labs, offices, and collaboration areas, the facility includes an expanded biorepository and a new state-of-the-art biomarker discovery center to support pediatric precision medicine initiatives. Additionally, an advanced medical simulation center allows medical professionals, home care providers and home caregivers to practice techniques and run through various scenarios, helping to improve patient safety.
Design Activates Collaboration
The building form is inspired by its purpose: creating spaces that facilitate collaboration to further discoveries that treat, prevent, and cure pediatric diseases. Office and laboratory space to the north and south flank a collaborative core that runs horizontally and vertically through the building. This core exerts a “gravitational pull” that generates a greater sense of community both in the building and the campus overall.
“Allowing collaboration to be a driving force in the design helped activate the building and allowed it to act as the conduit for translational research that hospital leadership envisioned,” said Jim Henry, regional director of HDR’s health sector and lead designer on the project.
Each floor includes a unique combination of working and educational environments — creating destinations for researchers, educators, and fellows to gather, collaborate and learn. These environments coupled with private offices and laboratories for bench and translational research transform the space into an ideal workplace for translational science, helping to facilitate major breakthroughs in pediatric research.
“Different types of spaces in the collaborative core facilitate different types of experiences,” said Lori Armstrong, lead interior designer on the project. “This palpable sense of place creates a dynamic workplace environment that will draw everyone together in new, productive ways.”
With strong connections to Johns Hopkins All Children’s architectural brand, the building features high-performance glazing that wraps the education, collaboration, and office areas providing natural daylight and views. DNA-inspired fenestration wraps the lab area, minimizing openings on the south façade. Public spaces at the ground level activate the streetscape and express the social aspect of the building.
Given its location a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico and within the hurricane storm surge line, the building’s core facilities and mechanical and emergency power functions are placed above the second level so they stay operational in the event of a major storm. Building orientation, energy and water reduction strategies, and high-performing materials are additional strategies used to help withstand harsh climate conditions.
About HDR’s Architecture Experience
At HDR, we design to unite people and elevate the human spirit. As a full-service practice that combines architecture, engineering, and many other related design services, collaboration is at the heart of what we do. Our rigorous process balances the needs of the project with the needs of the client—delivering tailored, human-centered solutions informed by qualitative and ethnographic research, data analysis and a deep understanding of local context and genuine need.
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.