Project category: New construction (completed May 2004)

Chief administrator: Lynn Mergen, Chief Executive Officer, (972) 963-3045

Firm: RTKL Associates, Inc., (214) 871-8877

Design team: Brad Barker, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; John Castorina, AIA, ACHA, Design Leader; Keith Guidry, AIA, Project Manager; Stan Parnell, Medical Planner (RTKL Associates, Inc.); Marty McIntire, Medical Technology and Equipment Planning (EQ International)

Photography: ©2003 Gary Knight + Associates, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 298,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $176

Total construction cost (excluding land): $52,400,000

Patients arriving for the first time at Centennial Medical Center are often surprised. The hospital doesn't look like a hospital. It could be easily mistaken for a shopping center or a Texas Hill Country lodge. That's all by design. The owner's goal is to provide superior customer service in an environment where people feel as comfortable as they feel in a hotel. At the same time, the hospital is designed for all-digital technology, advanced clinical protocols, and operational efficiency.

Centennial is custom-tailored to meet the needs of the new-market community it serves. The well-educated, affluent population seeks convenience and consumer amenities in addition to high-quality medical care.

The aesthetics of the hospital are designed to attract this discriminating clientele, provide a pleasant workplace for staff, and create a recognizable image that the community will associate with premier care. Centennial features stone, wood, glass, metal, and water elements that are reminiscent of the Texas vernacular. A grand fireplace, glass staircase, reflection pools, sculpture, and a mission-style chapel grace the facility. The design appeals to the area's pride in its Lone Star heritage.

A promenade spans the front of the hospital, providing a welcoming ambience and easy access to all clinical functions. Spacious patient rooms feature abundant natural light, good views to the outside, and comfortable accommodations for visiting family members. The medical center provides its “guests” with amenities such as a coffee bar, Internet access, children's play area, and gender-specific welcome and exit lounges.

To optimally serve young families, the hospital houses a women's and infants' center that includes a 14-bed neonatal ICU. Because market conditions indicated a need for cardiac care, the hospital has two complete cardiac-capable operating rooms.

The all-digital facility meets the desire of clients and caregivers for a sophisticated high-tech hospital. More than 50 advanced technologies facilitate the highest level of patient care and improve clinical quality, operations, and financial performance. The building is designed to support all-digital technology and optimize the advantages it offers.

As the community continues to grow, Centennial's design will allow easy expansion with minimal disruption to services. Patient floors are also flexible for change as the patient profile changes. And as the owner continues to build hospitals in similar communities, Centennial will serve as a model for future new-market hospital design.