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Three firms remain in race to design Center for Innovation

October 11, 2012

By Sarah Shannon

The three architectural firms competing to design Cleveland State’s new Center for Innovation in Health Professions made their final presentations Oct. 5 to the community.

Held by President Ronald Berkman at 8:30 a.m., about 125 members of the university community gathered to hear the presentations and give their opinions.

The selection process is moving fast.

"A decision is expected to be made soon, possibly within the next couple weeks," said Ed Schmittgen, Cleveland State’s director of capital planning.

The three firms are HOK, NBBJ and Pelli Clarke Pelli.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm founded in 1955 — with a network of 24 offices spanning three continents.

The firm has designed medical centers for The Ohio State University, Florida State University, the University of Alabama, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Central Florida and many other campuses across the U.S.

Most recently, they were selected to design the new University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on its downtown campus.

This was their edge. They have experience with a downtown college campus.

Also, they presented a partnership with Prospectus Architecture of Cleveland for their project. NBBJ is a global architecture and design firm founded in 1943.

They have designed health care facilities for nine of the top 14 U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll hospitals.

NBBJ also designed a very familiar structure — Cleveland State’s College of Education and Human Services, Julka Hall.

Having designed and built on Cleveland State’s campus once before gives them an advantage.

The firm has also designed two facilities for the Cleveland Clinic.

The third firm, Pelli Clarke Pelli, is a global architectural firm with a range of designing educational buildings to retail establishments.

They designed the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building at The Ohio State University, the theater school at DePaul University — located in Chicago, a downtown atmosphere such as Cleveland State — and have designed buildings for Ivy League schools such as Yale and Princeton University.

Like HOK, Pelli is also presenting in partnership with local architectural firm Stantec of Cleveland.

Partnering with a local company and experience with a downtown university setting proves their experience and willingness to work with the community.

One common theme was present through all three presentations. Each firm has completed many projects similar to the proposed plan for Cleveland State’s Center for Innovation in Health Professions.