Winter 2023 Feature-RAMSA
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Designing for the Future

The Catholic University of America's work with Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) to design state-of-the-art facilities for future academic programs.

By Caitlin B. Getman, AIA

Exterior Rendering of the New Nursing and Science building from the North (Image by RAMSA)The Catholic University of America’s mission as a Catholic university has remained steadfast since its founding in 1887. Growing out of this foundation of Christian morals and Catholic teachings, CUA’s Conway School of Nursing, which can trace its roots back to 1932, strives to give its students the skills to succeed and the values to guide them. This desire to serve the Church, nation and medical profession is fundamental to the School’s students and faculty. During the summer of 2020, the University began the design process for a new, modern educational facility to support its top-ranked science and nursing education programs.

The Catholic University of America undertook significant projects of self-assessment to determine their future needs. Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) and Ayers Saint Gross partnered together to design the state-of-the-art facility, located at a critical campus gateway site. Expected to open in 2024, the building’s exterior will remain true to the collegiate, gothic style of many other campus buildings. Inspired by the designs of Ecole des Beaux-Arts trained architect Frederick Vernon Murphy, RAMSA took cues from nearby historic buildings Gibbons and Maloney Halls. The new nursing and sciences building will be located adjacent to Father O’Connell Hall along Michigan Avenue, and it will include a new campus main entrance at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 7th Street, N.E. This prominent campus location reinforces the message to all who enter onto campus that the Catholic University of America is committed to educating expert clinicians and nurse-scientists, who are grounded in science, philosophy and faith.Exterior Rendering of the New Nursing and Science building along Michigan Avenue (Image by RAMSA)

At more than 102,000 square feet, the new home for the Conway School of Nursing will double the size of the current nursing education facilities. This building will provide modern educational facilities for nursing students, including multi-functional clinical learning and instructional support areas. The goal of this project has always been to create an environment that supports faculty and student research and scholarly activities with an emphasis on Christian, moral, and spiritual value systems within the context of Catholic teachings.


Caitlin B. Getman, AIA, is an Associate Partner with Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA).