The James E. Clyburn Research Center is comprised primarily of two interconnected buildings: The Drug Discovery Building and the Bioengineering Building. The project site was formerly a surface parking lot. The landscape provides both context for the buildings and contributes to the campus open space. MUSC requires LEED Certification for all projects. This project achieved LEED Gold.
The landscape is comprised of three main areas: the South Plaza, the North Garden and the Porcher Medicinal Garden. The South Plaza, one of the largest campus open space areas, needed to transition from the street grade to the building’s finished floor elevation while providing areas for sitting and other outdoor activities. The North Garden provides interim and permanent green space in an area where the Campus Master Plan calls for two future buildings to be located. The Porcher Medicinal Garden occupies a former service dock between the Basic Science Building and the Colbert Library.
The philosophy behind the design was to enhance the overall fabric of the campus, to respect the immediate context, create intuitive pedestrian flow, to complement the architecture, to follow the Campus Design Guidelines in selection of both furnishing and materials, to contribute to the LEED Certification in a way that allowed the space to become a valued part of the campus, and to advance the mission of MUSC which includes the goal to “preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina and beyond”. The design intent was to provide a place of beauty and respite from the hospital, laboratory or study carrel. We wanted this to be a place of calm, whether sunny or shady, where students, faculty, patients, or the public can pass through; sit for a few moments; or engage in conversation over lunch. We also wanted the project to be part of the overall educational focus where the landscape contributes to community health through both education and experience.