In the fall of 2000, Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum (HOK) was retained by Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital to initiate an ambitious expansion program on its Beaumont campus. The Campus Master Plan that HOK is currently engaged with includes a major diagnostic and treatment replacement facility with both acute care and intensive care beds to the west of the existing facility, and an 800-car parking garage for the hospital. The work consists of phases to implement the design without interrupting services. Phase I, the 800-car garage, has been completed. Phase II—including the Ambulatory Care Center, MOB, and a 1,200-car garage—was completed in May 2004. HOK is currently working on design-development documentation for the West Tower hospital expansion (Phase III) and renovation (Phase IV).

Project category: New construction (completed May 2004)

Chief administrator: Joel Fagerstrom, Acting CEO, (409) 899-7102

Firm: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum (HOK), (713) 407-7700

Design team: Greg Johnson, Senior Project Manager; Dallas Felder, Senior Project Designer; Nancy Coleman, Senior Healthcare Interior Designer; Carl Ross, Senior Project Architect; Tom Braud, Senior Medical Planner

Photography: Gary Zvonkovic

Total building area (sq. ft.): 251,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $167

Total construction cost (excluding land): $42,000,000

The Christus St. Elizabeth Ambulatory Care Center is located to the north of the existing hospital and will be physically connected by a bridge. Responding to significantly increased growth in outpatient service volumes, St. Elizabeth Hospital identified the need for a new outpatient/ambulatory care center on the hospital campus to provide convenient access and proximity to the hospital, with a separate and independent identity and easy access for the public. The outpatient center is oriented on the site to provide high visibility for vehicular approach and arrival from the north, and clarity of circulation on the site for parking and entry to the building. The facility provides physical connections to adjacent physician office buildings to the west and to the hospital to the south through covered walkways and elevated overhead links.

The building is designed to express a fresh new design image for the institution, while blending some of the materials and color of the existing buildings to provide a visual continuity and unity for the medical campus. The interior public spaces provide high volumes with natural lighting and incorporate meditation spaces or quiet spaces for patients and visitors. Exterior courts give a sense of openness and visual flow between the interior and exterior spaces.