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Project File: Anatomy lab turns high-tech

A high-tech gross anatomy laboratory for the Weill Medical College at Cornell University, New York City, recently has been completed. The $1,350,000 project involved renovating 5,000 square feet of lab and classroom space, and outfitting it with audiovisual equipment.

The original gross anatomy lab was broken up by barriers, which fragmented the room and made it difficult to teach across the room. The classroom consisted of folding chairs set up in a room with no audiovisual equipment. An entire class could not fit into the lab at the same time.

With the renovation, the barriers were removed and the lab was expanded by 2,850 square feet, making it possible for 104 students to work at 28 dissection tables. Previously, 80 students could work at 16 tables. A 40-seat auditorium and faculty offices also were added.

A mobile camera allows instructors to focus in on objects, which can be broadcast to plasma screens mounted on the lab walls or to a remote location via the Internet.

The department's mission also was incorporated into the lab's design. The floor design organizes the space with a stylized spinal column. The brain is the classroom, the base is the sink area, and the rest of the room is aligned along the spinal column. The department sign is a display case filled with bones, identifying the space.

The project's architect is Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners (New York City).

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