March 20, 2018

What is the purpose of that weird cube in the middle of the Plaza?

Futuristic design element? Outdoor feng shui in action? Navigational beacon for LifeFlight? The truth is more basic.

In 1980, when Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital opened in its current location, a set of stairs led from the hospital basement up to the plaza. In 2004, with the construction of Medical Research Building IV atop Langford Auditorium, the stairs were covered and the cube was placed over the previous stairwell.

The cube has two purposes:

  • It serves as an exhaust port for various mechanical systems located beneath the plaza
  • It also serves as an access point for the eventual need to remove and/or replace the MRI machine in the Radiology area of the basement. Using a crane, the old machine can be lifted out via the portal beneath the cube, and a new one could be installed.

(Are you curious about something around VUMC? Send your questions to wayne.wood@vumc.org, with the word “curious” in the subject line)