Bel Air, MD


50,000 SF

Darlington Hall, the Nursing and Allied Health Building at Harford Community College, is the new learning environment for the college’s multi-discipline health-related curriculums. The new 3-story building consists of a Nursing Simulation Center, Nursing Skills Labs, Allied Health Labs, EMT Lab, active-learning classrooms, tiered large lecture classrooms and a conference center that divides into three acoustically separate classrooms. Labs and classrooms are connected by the Commons which provides a variety of venues for informal learning. The simulation center and laboratories are audiovisual recording studios that create a real workplace context for teams of students to practice and perform skills, and the active learning classrooms emphasize technology aided learning through group exercises. The focus on multi-disciplinary student team projects creates the need for space dedicated to outside-the classroom collaboration. The Commons is the central atrium containing a variety of enhanced learning spaces. Glass-enclosed group study rooms, with floor-to-ceiling marker surfaces, are technology rich and can be scheduled remotely from a personal device. An open section of stadium seating connects the first and second floors, offering an informal social/study space for team meetings, individual study or impromptu lectures. Learning nooks with wall-mounted screens for technology-assisted work are located along the corridor creating the opportunity for serendipitous faculty meetings. Student lounges with soft movable furniture allow students to customize their own group study space.

The entire building and site have access to wireless data so nursing students can repeatedly review filmed skills, and the labs are accessible to nurses outside of class time for individual practice. Expanded building hours, access to recorded simulation sessions, and a variety of informal learning spaces in the Commons mean more time and space for collaborative work and ultimately improved learning outcomes.

* Design led by Jim Determan, FAIA, Principal-in-Charge while at Hord Coplan Macht, Architect of Record