SMHS building wins design award for area architects

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The North Dakota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has given its “Award of Merit” to JLG Architects for the firm’s design of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) building. The award was presented to representatives of JLG Architects at the AIA 2017 Annual Awards Program in October.

“The hard work that went into this building is evident, but so are the beautiful, and thoughtful design features,” noted Syncopated Architecture founder Serina Calhoun, one of the jurors who evaluated the JLG-designed building for the AIA. “The play with volume to incorporate multiple stories together was masterful. The use of materials that warmed the otherwise sterile environment we all associate with medical facilities was carefully done, including the warm woods at the ceilings and creative patterns in the flooring.”

Founded in Grand Forks, N.D., in 1989, JLG is a 100 percent employee-owned architectural firm with satellite offices in Fargo, N.D., Minneapolis, Minn., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

The new UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences building was completed on time and on budget in 2016. JLG and its partner firms designed the 325,000 square-foot space to encourage interprofessional collaboration and interaction among students and faculty from all SMHS disciplines. The building’s open floor plan features the state’s largest and most active Simulation Center, a 200-seat auditorium, eight interdisciplinary Learning Communities, several “smart” classrooms and small-group learning rooms, and an open laboratory research space.

“I am delighted with this award, but not surprised,” added Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH, vice president for Health Affairs at UND and dean of the SMHS. “The building fully lives up to Winston Churchill’s famous notion that ‘We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.’ We designed the building around the concept of a team approach to education, service, and science, and the people who are trained in the building will bring the virtues of team-based patient service and care and team-based science to the people of North Dakota and the region for decades to come.”

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Brian James Schill

Assistant Director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations

University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

701.777.2733 |