Cole Eye Institute

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Cleveland, Ohio, USA
130,000 square feet / 12,000 square meters
1999

The Cole Eye Institute is one of four Pelli Clarke Pelli buildings on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic. The building, which houses the Division of Ophthalmology, is designed to encourage interaction and collaboration among physicians and scientists.

For the first time in the Division of Ophthalmology’s history, the Cole Institute brings together researchers and clinicians in one building, creating a mutually beneficial dialogue between science and practice. The four-story Institute includes research laboratories, continuing education resources, and a research library, as well as diagnostic services, ambulatory surgery, refractive surgery, and a pediatric treatment center. A three story, skylit atrium occupies the center of the design, encouraging researchers and clinicians to mix on a daily basis and providing a welcoming environment for patients.

Following the objectives of the Master Plan, the Cole Eye Institute endeavors to improve the public image of the Clinic by delineating a clear eastern border for the campus along Euclid Avenue, one of Cleveland’s main thoroughfares. The building forms a new entrance to the campus and acts as a highly visible gateway for visitors approaching the city from the east. At the same time, the Cole Eye Institute defines the edge of a future garden courtyard on the campus side, the East Campus Quadrangle. This public open space is framed on the north side by the Institute, on the west by the Crile Clinic (also designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli), and on the east by the future East 105th Street Parking Garage. All three buildings around the quadrangle are linked by skybridges, connecting them into the campus wide skybridge network.

The Eye Institute alludes to the architectural style of the Cleveland Clinic campus, yet it maintains own identity. The design consists of two main elements: a long, four-story bar building facing the main campus and a two-story semi-circular volume on Euclid Avenue. The design addresses the duality of the site, acknowledging its function as a gateway between the public and private realms. The facades are pink granite with large expanses of aluminum-framed windows, complementing the character and style of the rest of the campus.