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Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing

Fairfield University
Fairfield, CT
70,700 SF
September 2017
RDG Planning & Design
Higher Education Architecture Interiors

Recognized as one of the nation’s best nursing schools, the renovation and expansion of the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing responds to a trio of powerful change drivers: increasing enrollments, dramatic advances at the intersection of medical technology and pedagogy, and the need for environments more supportive of group-based teaching and learning processes, to transform the space into an enhanced clinical learning environment.


Configured to minimize site impact while maximizing campus place-making, the new building’s form and siting support master-plan objectives, including creation of a STEM Hub. The nursing school is located next to the engineering and sciences building. The original design had the major collaboration/ hallway areas in the back of the building looking into the wooded area, with the classrooms and offices against the main campus parking lot. The rotation of the building by 180 degrees allows the collaboration areas - the life of the building - to be seen from the main parking lot.

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Previously, the School of Nursing occupied a 16,000-square-foot, two-story building constructed in 1976. The new, four-story addition adds 55,000 square feet of space. The Robin Kanarek Center for Palliative Care occupies the first floor. Classroom and small group collaboration spaces are located on second and fourth floors. Healthcare simulation training on third floor includes two functional operating rooms; three single-occupant simulation rooms, including a dedicated birthing suite; home care suite; and emergency room simulation training area. A welcoming, sunlit network of circulation and touch-down spaces gather community for informal learning and social interaction, surrounded by a spectrum of flexible, formal learning spaces configured to enable progressive pedagogy and anticipate pedagogical change.

  • Engineering News-Record (ENR) Regional Best Projects, 2018
  • Award of Merit, Major Renovations/Expansions, Connecticut Building Congress, 2018