Communication centre

Friday 30 Apr 2010

KPF and WHR Architects design new Methodist Hospital Research Institute with designated break-out rooms to encourage active communication

Prominently situated on Bertner Avenue on the Texas Medical Center’s north campus, the new Methodist Hospital Research Institute (RI) will be dedicated to translational research. The 12-storey facility contains six floors of open research space housing a variety of laboratories and support spaces that combine to form a collaborative research facility for the study of infectious diseases.

Labs, offices, and amenities are provided for 90 Principal Investigators (PIs). A generous driveway drop-off area enables the hospital to accommodate users of both the Research Institute and the existing and expanded hospital. The lobby includes a comprehensive imaging suite and connects back to the main hospital. A stair connects the two-storey lobby with a second floor pre-function and auditorium whilst a prominent terrace at level 12 overlooks the picturesque Bertner Avenue and is adjacent to the top floor PI lounge and board room.

The massing expresses the functionality of the program with the curved PI office bar towards the east and the lab block to the west. Common break-out areas connect the office bar to the lab block where interdisciplinary communication is encouraged and promotes opportunities for informal gatherings. Bridge connections to the existing hospital are proposed at several floors to facilitate translational research and a sense of professional community.

At the client’s request, the Research Institute was designed and documented using Building Information Modeling, facilitating a streamlined collaboration and coordination effort among the Design, Structural, and MEP development processes. By linking the BIM models from these project team members, the essential elements of the building were coordinated and optimised virtually. Select MEP components were then directly fabricated from the BIM model.

The new building is anticipated to achieve LEED® Silver certification and is scheduled for completion in Fall 2010. The architecture will be dynamic and innovative reflecting The Methodist Hospital’s long and accomplished history.

This project was designed in joint venture by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and WHR Architects

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