Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Academic Research Building

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Academic Research Building Lobby

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Academic Research Building

Technology Enabled “First” Medical School in South Jersey

For years, Rowan University and Cooper University Hospital have been dynamic, nationally respected leaders in the fields of higher education and medicine. In a move that fundamentally changes the face of healthcare and education in the state of New Jersey, the two longstanding South Jersey institutions have joined together to form the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is the first four-year allopathic medical school in South Jersey. The union of Cooper Hospital and Rowan capitalizes on the benefit of co-locating premier medical education learning space with working research laboratories and clinical application. The curriculum is as new as the building, both of which will create an environment to facilitate learning at a time when students must keep up with ever changing technology and rapid developments in medicine.

The school brings together a range of biology, chemistry and psychological teaching and research space in a STEM environment, from basic computer laboratories and simulated clinical spaces to gross anatomy labs. The building includes 25 active-learning rooms, each accommodating eight students and an instructor. The multipurpose rooms are fit out with simple and clean mobile tables and chairs to allow teachers and students to reconfigure the rooms as necessary to meet the needs of the space. Each entering student will be assigned to a room for the first two years of the program to create “permanent” study groups, each with a dedicated instructor. The technology-rich rooms are designed to be easily reconfigured for testing, for face-front viewing of the “tech wall,” for teamwork grouped in the center, and all rooms can connect to the same instructor, at the same time, through interactive video. Students gain practice with actors pretending to be patients in a 12-room standardized patient clinic and are observed by the faculty at the same time. All are connected to a central control room so that instructors can monitor the sessions and tactics recorded for later debriefing. A four-room high-fidelity simulation suite with control rooms between simulation rooms, allows students to work with robots while being supervised. Provisions have been made to allow for a virtual reality cave when funding becomes available. The Learning Commons offers faculty and students an opportunity to eat and relax outside the classroom but within the building. This is a casual setting for students to study, research or just unplug without ever having to put their coat on or leave the facility. While it does have Wi-Fi and the adjacent study rooms and library offer interactive technology, the area also allows for more solitary study and scholarly work or serendipitous interaction with peers and faculty.

Key features include:

  • Multi-functional program on each floor expressed on exterior
  • Modern imagery of building reflects new curriculum while contextual responses are created with stepped massing and use of brick
  • The Simulation Center, comprised of simulated robotic patients as well as standardized patients, provides one of the primary environments to develop students’ clinical skills. This area will also be used for Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) testing.
  • The Gross Anatomy Lab, sized for 100 students, with 22 tables, changing facilities, washing, storage and embalming.
  • Twenty-five Problem-Based Learning rooms, or small classrooms, to serve as primary homeroom for groups of first and second year students, who will work in teams of eight throughout the curriculum. Each is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual and interactive learning technologies as well as exam tables for clinical skills development. All 200 students in these rooms can receive the same broadcast information, if needed, through a tech wall
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Academic Research Building Lobby
Rowan University

Camden, NJ
United States

200,000 SF (18,600 m²)


Philament Award, Merit Recipient (2013)
Guth Award for Interior Lighting
Illuminating Engineering Society, Philadelphia Section
Awards of Excellence , Gold Award (2013)
Built Project Category
Downtown New Jersey
Illumination Awards, Merit Recipient (2013)
Guth Award for Interior Lighting
Illuminating Engineering Society