Page-Designed Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Opens
Architecture Reinterprets Original Texas Children’s Design for Modern, Suburban Setting
HOUSTON — Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, designed by Page, has opened in west Houston, one of the fastest growing population centers in the country. The West Campus is Texas Children’s first hospital located outside the Texas Medical Center and is one of the nation’s largest suburban pediatric hospitals.
Every aspect of the hospital has been meticulously planned, built and equipped for delivery of family-centered pediatric care consistent with Texas Children’s unsurpassed standards of quality. Carefully designed into a 55-acre greenfield site with great highway visibility and access, this 534,000-square-foot, five-story facility includes 48 inpatient beds (with space for an additional 48 beds), four operating rooms, a 14-bed pediatric emergency center, and a 220,000-square-foot outpatient clinic wing. Extensive shell space provides for anticipated internal growth, and longer term growth has been master planned to accommodate future nursing bed towers, medical office buildings and parking garages.
The architectural vocabulary of the existing main campus of Texas Children’s Hospital has been reinterpreted in this suburban setting. The exterior harkens to the original 1950s hospital with its horizontal banded windows, yet the curved face, state-of-the-art glazing and colorful spheres make the West Campus entirely unique and distinctive. The site is organized around a central elliptical plaza containing parking, extensive landscaping and special lighting. Two of the building’s wings embrace the central ellipse, forming “welcoming arms” to greet patients and family. The third wing, which contains the inpatient rooms, extends into the quiet corner of the site, with views of trees, a pond and fountains, carefully isolated from the parking lots and traffic noise.
The hospital interiors are colorful, cheerful and strategically coordinated to assist in wayfinding. Children’s artwork from local schools adds a fanciful and humanizing element throughout the facility. An operation simulation room inside one of the colorful spheres helps reduce anxiety by letting young patients explore an upcoming procedure.
The new facility incorporates extensive evidence-based design concepts that promote patient well-being and safety such as natural light, views of nature, reduced noise, accommodations for family, childlife areas and outdoor park-like settings for patient and family use. Other family-friendly amenities include a non-denominational chapel and a library.
Sustainable design strategies include an integrated design process, reflective roof, connections to the natural world, rainwater for irrigation, energy efficiency, systems commissioning, regional materials, design for flexibility and durability, indoor air quality, low emitting materials, daylight and views, paperless construction practices and design by PageSoutherlandPage LEED Accredited Professionals.
The design process included two mock-up phases. The first was a full-size “cardboard mock-up” where users were encouraged to use the room, walk through various scenarios and adjust all items to their optimal location. Later, during construction, a finished mock-up was built to confirm not only the locations of the every item, but also the materials, finishes and colors.
Page used an inclusive integrated design process that included patients and families, community members, hospital representatives, architects and engineers, the general contractor (Tellepsen) and major subcontractors. The early and well-orchestrated interaction of all of these parties contributed significantly to the success of the project, which opened on time and on budget.
Designed and constructed concurrently, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and the adjacent Methodist West Houston Hospital serve as anchors for the new medical complex known as the “Texas Medical Center – West Campus.” Combined, the two Page-designed facilities will ultimately provide 1.2 million square feet of new medical space for this large and growing community.
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