The recently completed two-story Women's Center at Brazosport Memorial Hospital is located in Lake Jackson, Texas. At 30,490 square feet, the 10-bed addition includes obstetrical services, such as mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and a Cath Lab suite. Early in the project, the client expressed a desire to create spaces that are warm and calming with the goal of alleviating stress for visitors, patients, and staff. The overall color palette, materials, and design reflect the natural surroundings of the Texas coast.

The design team created a layout that was simple to navigate and engaging to the occupant within the space. The spacious corridors and openness of the nurses' station create a comfortable, elegant feeling while providing nursing staff opportunities for an effective teamwork environment.

Project category: Addition (completed January 2006)

Chief administrator: Dan Buche, Corporate Executive Officer, (979) 285-1813

Firm: WHR Architects, Inc., (713) 665-5665

Design team: Manolo Deperio, AIA, Architectural Designer; Steve Cano, AIA, Senior Project Architect; Sylvie Bucci, IIDA, Senior Interior Designer; Sherri Shafiei, Interior Designer; Joel Colwell, AIA, Project Manager—Architecture; Amy Lopez, IIDA, AAHID, Project Manager—Interiors

Photography: Rick Gardner

Total building area (sq. ft.): 30,490

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $344

Total construction cost (excluding land): $10,475,568

Large windows along a wide, curving corridor with natural views were maximized at public locations, providing daylight and exterior visual references to serve as wayfinding cues. Skylights located at the second level nurses' station serve as a dramatic welcoming feature. Ample storage is strategically positioned throughout the center, eliminating visual clutter, a known stressor to patients and guests in typical healthcare environments.

The women's labor and delivery floor is designed around a theme of family-centered care. Corridors are carpeted, which effectively mutes sound, especially important in an environment where newborns are present. The patient rooms offer single-room maternity care—complete mother-baby care in private labor and delivery rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms and accommodations for visiting or overnight guests.