Williamson Translational Research Building

Dartmouth Hitchcock Williamson Translational Research Building

Williamson Translational Research Building

At the Crossroads of Discovery and Patient Care

When Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center wanted to enhance and expand its mission of comprehensive healthcare delivery, they looked outside of the traditional care delivery platform. The new Williamson Translational Research Building (WTRB) enables collaboration between research and clinical care to advance care delivery by challenging the assumption of separation and by integrating science, education and clinical programs with in the larger context of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The design team sought to add to an existing building in a way that both honored the scheme of the original concept of the medical campus while also communicating that something new and different is taking place. Placed between research and clinical care buildings, the WTRB encourages clinicians, clinical scientists and pure scientists to collaborate by proximity — the definition of a translational health facility. To separate slightly from the adjacent buildings’ white metal panels and Dartmouth-green trim, the WTRB continues the similar white panels but is clad in gray trim.

When the original facility was completed in 1991, it was designed around a “main street” or “mall” concept where all medical and research buildings are connected to the same street, replicating a New England village. The original design left a gap beside the main entrance as a placeholder for future expansion; with the WTRB, the campus “main street” is now complete.

Key features of the WTRB include:

  • An optimally organized space providing opportunities for clinicians and researchers to effectively collaborate on five of the six floors in the building. Lean planning concepts create a comprehensive master plan for the academic medical center, placing research and clinical care in the same space.
  • Organized by research rather than by department, a biophysicist can work next to a pharmacologist and be a short walk from an immunologist and a computational geneticist. The physical link between existing research buildings on the campus, the WTRB serves as a hub for interaction between researcher and caregivers in many disciplines.
  • The building is comprised of three components: a laboratory block, mall and auditorium. The lab block supports flexible and adaptable wet and dry research space and ties into outpatient services. The linear, transparent mall — an open and bright, three-story atrium — is a dynamic zone for collaboration among researchers and serves as a primary circulation space.
  • Medical students, graduate students and undergraduates are exposed to translational research and multidisciplinary science by working with researchers in the WTRB. With this larger research facility, Dartmouth-Hitchcock has the capacity to expand its graduate programs and launch new programs in biomedical informatics, for example. Its location, adjacent to both the main clinical entry and the research complex, provides access to all users of the hospital and clinic and the neighboring garden patio provides a connection to the natural beauty of the site.
  • The new facility supports the Geisel School of Medicine’s priority to attract top scientists in the field. Bringing investigators from multiple disciplines to the same building stimulates collaborations, accelerates discovery and, ultimately, passes on the benefits to patients.
  • The new facility enhances research disciplines such as neuroscience, microbiology and immunology, molecular pathology, clinical outcomes and even healthcare policy. It connects to and allows for expansion of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and enables the medical school to invest in disciplines necessary for translational research to flourish, including biomedical informatics, computational genetics and clinical trial management.
Dartmouth Hitchcock Williamson Translational Research Building
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Lebanon, NH
United States

162,000 sf (15,050 m²)
LEED Certified Silver