The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is designed to accommodate research in a collaborative bio-medical and bio-engineering environment. The University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital are partners in this project and share space within this facility.

The focus of the Institute will be various aspects of cardiovascular research and the development of new implant devices. This will involve BioEngineering disciplines related to Pediatrics, BioMEMS, BioDevices and BioMaterials.


Metal Architecture Design Award

CRSI Structural Design Award

MediStar Facility Design Award

Size: 85,000 SF

Learn about research projects at the CII

The laboratory space is designed in flexible modules, which can be modified with changing research projects. Spaces for frequent interaction between researchers are another design attribute.

This is the fourth research building in the U of L Health Science Campus, that were designed and master planned by AJRC/SmithGroup. The project achieved United States Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certification making it the first LEED certified research building in Kentucky and the largest LEED NC Gold certified research building in the country at the time of certification.

Arrasmith, Judd, Rapp, Chovan, Inc., in conjunction with the SmithGroup, developed the research campus plan and functional space program as well as providing complete architectural and engineering services, including sustainable and interior design.

Awards / Recognition:

LEED NC Gold Certification

USGBC [2010]


MediStar Award [2010]

Most Innovative Facility Design

Medical News Magazine


AIA Kentucky

Honor Award for Design Excellence [2010]


AIA Detroit

Honor Award [2011]


AIA Michigan

Honor Award [2012]


Masonry Honor Award [2010]

Kentuckiana Masonry Institute


Excellence in Structural Engineering Award

National Council of Structural Engineers Assoc.



Cornerstone 2020 Award

Louisville Downtown Management District



Build Kentucky Award [2009]

LEED Project over $ 61 Million

Assoc. General Contractors of Kentucky


Press Coverage

~ ARCHITECT The AIA Magazine, July 2012

~ Courier Journal - Louisville, KY

~ Herald Leader - Lexington KY

~ Business First - Louisville

~ Green Building Quarterly - Magazine

AIA KY Newsletter - March 2010

~ Healthcare Design Magazine - 

   Featured Project in the Annual Showcase

~ Medical News - Louisville, KY

~ USGBC KY - Online Project Profile


LEED Sustainability Concepts:

Clinical and Translational Research Building Sustainability Initiatives

The Nucleus, an initiative of the University of Louisville Foundation, is a unique research and development center in Downtown Louisville specifically created to foster innovation for the healthcare and life sciences community. The first phase in the 9-acre park was a 200,000-SF, 8-story building. Located adjacent to the Downtown Medical Campus, this campus provides quality space for start-up companies, healthcare accelerators, business incubators, research, and technology companies along with geriatric and aging care corporations. Sustainability is also a significant component in the project; many green initiatives such as a roof garden, collaboration with MSD by providing a water retention and filtration component, and many other energy and environmental considerations contributed to the LEED certification by the US Green Building Council.

University of Louisville J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entreprenuership

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Covered entries to the building at the northwest corner and west elevation provide convenient access to the elevator/stair tower of the garage where most of the building users will be arriving from. By directing the pedestrian traffic through the plaza, this will become a very exciting and active campus space instead of only a space to pass through. The market St. entrance provides a public streetside  "front door" and leads visitors though a two story atrium space visible from the street and plaza through a continuous glass wall. There is an opportunity for a two story feature wall that could be panels of glass or solid material so the room could expand for larger gatherings. 

The architectural design features gently curved "L shaped" forms at the lower 6 floors clad in brick, precast bands, metal vertical piers and storefront glazing windows to complement the Nucleus but with a new design expression. Once above the 6th floor, the top two floors are recessed back from metal corners of the building. 

On the west, we see the opportunity for balconies at each floor centered on the elevation which could be an attractive for tenants. 

The floor plan is organized with central core functions accessed by a single corridor running east to west. The entire north half of the building is available for maximum visibility tenant space needs such as retail. Service functions and loading dock are located at the east end.