Contract - October 2011 - (Page 62)

healthcare less clinical, more hospitable WHR Architects designs a centralized outpatient facility, already an icon in Houston’s skyline, that can stand up to fine hotels By Sheila Kim • Photography by Joe Aker/Aker Imaging Healthcare designers recognize that they have the power to implement design as a healing tool, whether to improve efficiency and outcomes or to soothe anxiety through an attractive, calming environment. The Methodist Hospital Outpatient Center, part of the Texas Medical Center campus, is a 27-story building in Houston that accomplishes this with ease. Designed by Houston-based WHR Architects (see interview with David Watkins, FAIA, WHR’s chairman and founding principal, page 104), the outpatient center houses state-of-the-art facilities within a hotel-like setting that deviates from an institutional aesthetic. For starters, its towering height and crowning “tiara” have rendered it an iconic part of the city’s skyline since it opened, and that’s something few hospitals can boast. Responsible for the interiors as well, WHR was tasked with consolidating outpatient services—from cardiology to imaging—that were previously based in disparate locations, while beautifying healthcare design to elevate patient A fixture of Houston’s skyline, the Methodist Hospital Outpatient Center is crowned with a steel “tiara” sporting three spires (top) that reference the Holy Trinity—since the hospital system is faith-based—and the trio of science, research, and education. A two-story-tall water wall (opposite) offers soothing sights and sounds in the first-floor lobby; its iridescent mosaic tiling creates a sparkle effect. 62 contract october 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - October 2011

Contract - October 2011
Industry news
Product briefs: healthcare
Product focus: caregivers need care, too
Product focus: above + below
Product focus: glass for health
Advancements made in evidence-based healthcare design
The power of design
Less clinical, more hospitable
Beautifully lean
Raising the bar
New life
Urban sanctuary
The 2011 healthcare environment awards
Designers select: healthcare products
Ad index

Contract - October 2011