Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed August 2005)

Chief administrator: David Wessner, President and CEO, (952) 993-5013

Firm: Ellerbe Becket, Inc., (612) 376-2212

Design team: Jon Buggy, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Michael Florell, AIA, Project Manager; Doug Westby, AIA, Senior Medical Planner; Nancy Doyle, AIA, Senior Medical Planner; Mike Kennedy, AIA, Design Architect; Christine Hester Devens, NCIDQ, Senior Interior Designer

Photography: George Heinrich Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 206,000 (new); 22,200 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $175 (new); $180 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $36,000,000 (new); $4,000,000 (renovation)


Constructed on a unique site directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood and an environmentally protected wetlands area, Park Nicollet's Heart and Vascular Center (HVC) is the new front door of Methodist Hospital. The project's biggest challenge was creating a design that served Park Nicollet's patient care needs while weaving together three important project goals: meeting with the approval of an organized and involved neighborhood group, embracing an environmentally responsible planning and design approach, and supporting Park Nicollet's emphasis on a “lean” approach to improving quality in healthcare.

The sensitivity of the site dictated a highly collaborative design process involving Park Nicollet staff, city leaders, the local watershed district, design and construction professionals, and neighbors.

The wetlands and motifs from nature inspired the design. Both public and patient-care spaces were oriented to take advantage of natural views and daylight, connecting patients and families with nature and its healing effect. The wetlands also provided inspiration for the project's environmentally responsible planning and design approach. While LEED certification was not a stated project goal, the facility's design integrates a number of sustainable design principles.

Park Nicollet is also one of only a few U.S. providers pioneering the use of the Toyota Production System, also known as “Lean Production,” in healthcare. The aim of Lean Production is to eliminate waste, reduce costs, and improve quality and safety. In the case of HVC, lean methodology was used to help take out waste and decrease cost without adversely affecting patient care.