Project Description

Emory University Woodruff Research Building

The assignment

A modern twist on a research and office space, this project for Emory University School of Medicine at the Woodruff Research Building for the Department of Biomedical Informatics. The students of Biomedical Informatics (BMI)  focus on the effective use of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for biomedical and clinical research, as well as decision support driven by efforts to improve human health.

The design improves the previous institutional-looking office into a collaborative, colorfully-branded workspace. The finishes create a dynamic look, which includes bold color choices and movable furniture, along with organic features such as architectural wood on the ceiling and walls mixed in with industrial looking lighting and art. The layout includes open and closed office space, collaborative space with adjustable furniture and energetically-shaped marker boards, and a kitchenette with high-top counterspace. Glass is used throughout to open the space up to natural light, as well as provide privacy in the huddle rooms.

Because the ceiling is open, the space required a noise buffering element to muffle conversations: fabric. Felt walls create a cozy effect while having a functional purpose.

This project packs a lot of interesting elements into a small footprint.


The opportunity

A unique challenge with this project was the logistics of the Air Handling Unit (AHU). The layout of the building and the functionality of the elevators were unable to support the AHU. Leapley devised a plan to have the unit delivered in sections – enabling the pieces to be taken up the freight elevator one at a time and reassembled in the mechanical room.

Architect: idea|span

Client: Emory University School of Medicine – Department of Biomedical Informatics (BMI).

Project Type: Higher Education, Research Facility

Size: 9,415 SF

Location: Atlanta, GA


Photographer: Raftermen Photography