Clinical Center News
Spring 2018

Frasca, architect and designer of the north part of Building 10, dies

The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center north entrance of Building 10 has become the iconic image of the Clinical Center

Harold Varmus, Robert Frasca, Mark Hatfield and John Gallin outside
Harold Varmus, Robert Frasca, Mark Hatfield and John Gallin at the groundbreaking of the hospital's new addition.

Robert Frasca, a founding design partner responsible for creating the north side of Building 10, known as the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center (CRC), died Jan. 3. Frasca, 84, worked for Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, the firm selected from an international design competition in 1996 to design the CRC. The 870,000-square-foot addition, which opened in 2005, has 200 inpatient beds and 93 day-hospital stations.

To Frasca, working at the Clinical Center was more than just a job.

"He loved scientists and [doctors] and felt they were doing God's work and he was only providing the cathedrals for it all to happen," Frasca's wife, Jeanne Giordano, said recently to John Gallin, NIH's associate director for clinical research and chief scientific officer of the Clinical Center.

Gallin, who was the Director of the hospital during renovation, added "[Frasca] quickly grasped our mission. Aside from [his] great design skills, he had a remarkable ability to listen and respond to our stakeholders. He grasped how patients and their families react to a serious illness. He understood the stress care providers and scientists face. With good humor, optimism, inclusiveness and sensitivity [he] became a friend of the NIH.

North entrance to the NIH Clinical Center
Construction of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center.

In 1997, Frasca spoke before an audience of Clinical Center researchers and staff about the importance of their input when designing the new facilities.

"We really believe that a good science building can contribute to good science. In designing this building, it is a partnership. We literally learn from one another. The more emotional investment you have in the building, the better building it's going to be," Frasca said.

Frasca's portfolio includes Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore.; the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center in New York; and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Yawkey Center for Cancer Care in Boston.

Senior leaders at NIH cut a ribbon opening two hospice suites at the Clinical Center
Laptop with stethoscope nearby
Patient Photography Studio
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH sties in a chair to the left. Barbra Streisand holds a microphone and sits in a chair to the right – speaks to the audience
Dr. James Gilman stands with Alba C. Murphy as they smile and hold a certificate
A paper cutout of a hand shape with a stick on the end. Text on the paper says I [heart] clean hands
Patient with Degos disease addresses symposium attendees
CDC and NIH representatives stand in a special isolation patient room at the NIH Clinical Center
Eight young men and women line up holding graduation certificates in Lipsett Auditorium
A four panel exhibit with photos, text and artifacts on NIH medical pioneers Christian Anfinsen and Michael Potter
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Chaoyang Wang
Woman with scientific cap on her head plays a touch game
Doctors at NIH speak in a lecture hall during Nurses Week
NIH Clinical Center doctor receives award
Children participate in Take Your Child to Work Day Hematology Lab
Leslie Wehrlen holds a plaque.
Sixteen women, graduates of the program and departmental leaders, gather for a photo
Pius Aiyelawo swearing into the Senior Executive Service with Dr. Lawrence Tabak
Jackson Taylor (right) and his donor Sean McLaughlin (left)
Dr. Thomas Burklow
Two care providers look at a computer
Child reading a book
NIH employee, Ricky Day, trys the prototype device
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tours Clinical Center with CC CEO Dr. James K. Gilman
First Lady Melania Trump gets together with five children to pose for a picture
Patient and doctor
Harold Varmus, Robert Frasca, Mark Hatfield and John Gallin at the groundbreaking of the hospital's new addition
Black and White photo of the first meeting of the National Advisory Eye Council (13 men) gathering on steps
Jim Gilman at Town Hall in Masur Auditorium
Dr. John I. Gallin cuts the ribbon with Heidi Grolig and Jerry Sachs.
People line up at the new marketplace Starbucks café