Project category: New construction (completed January 2007)

Chief administrator: Mark Valentine, Chief Executive Officer, (972) 930-9051

Firm: RTKL Associates, Inc., (214) 468-7701

Design team: John Castorina, AIA, ACHA, Design Principal-in-Charge; Keith Guidry, AIA, Project Manager; Eric T. Dinges, AIA, Project Architect; John J. Frisco III, AIA, Project Architect; Aimee D. Platt, IIDA, AAHID, Interior Designer; Shelley E. Jones, IIDA, Interior Designer

Photography: © Charles Davis Smith; Shands Photographics (exterior view)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 198,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $234

Total construction cost (excluding land): $46,300,000

The sculptural exterior of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano is an outward indication of what guests will find within—upscale comfort, advanced technologies, healing environments, and patient-centered care in a five-star service atmosphere. Moreover, the building conveys the sophisticated medical excellence of its cardiovascular care.

The not-so-plain geometry of the building includes a highly identifiable entrance canopy that takes the form of an ascending helix. As it rises, the canopy integrates with the ceilings of the chapel, auditorium, and dining room. The building employs perspectives and vanishing points to accentuate volume in moderately sized spaces.

The performance-driven design of the 68-bed hospital is unique in that each floor is dedicated to a specific cardiovascular protocol. The emergency department and imaging services are on the first floor, surgery on the second, electrophysiology on the third, and cardiac catheterization on the fourth. The patient goes directly to the floor where his procedure is performed and stays in an acuity-adaptable suite on that floor for the duration of his hospitalization. This allows the appropriate staff, supplies, and equipment to be concentrated near the patient and eliminates cross-traffic.

The bow-tie–shaped tower offers significant advantages. It effectively maximizes space on the tight 4.9-acre site; it supports a combination of centralized and decentralized nursing; it provides space for dedicated ambulation zones; and the curved hallways enhance caregiver sight lines to patient suites. Service corridors are located out of public sight and hearing.

The gently concave bow-tie design puts the widest part of the patient suite on the corridor side, allowing space for an inboard toilet and a six-foot doorway for easy entry and exit of medical equipment. At 367 square feet each, the suites accommodate the array of equipment needed for cardiovascular care. Each suite also has a staff work zone and a family zone.

The comfortable family zones include wireless connectivity, work spaces, comfortable furnishings, and sleeping accommodations. Expansive views to the outside enhance the suite's healing environment.


To further meet the client's goal of an upscale, hotel-like environment, hospital amenities include comfortably furnished public areas with attractive artwork, large skylights that visually expand the spaces, good views to the outside, and eye-catching stone accent walls. Physicians find respite in a beautifully furnished library filled with natural light.