St. Luke's Episcopal Health System at The Woodlands, planned and designed by the architect, anchors a 42-acre Medical Campus development. This 300,000-square-foot first phase, completed in April 2003, includes a central hospital building flanked by an 84-bed patient care unit and a six-story, 90,000-square-foot Medical Arts Center. The site can accommodate a future patient tower that would nearly triple the number of beds, as well as three more medical office buildings and a parking structure.

Key planning and design objectives were to create an environment for St. Luke's faith-based, family-centered care; develop an architectural vocabulary expressing commitment to excellence; design an icon that capitalizes on proximity to freeways; and optimize staffing efficiencies in the context of an expanding campus plan.

At the client's urging, the architect-led planning team focused on groupings of smaller building elements rather than “one big box.” Working in concert with St. Luke's and the owner's representative, the architect devised a plan for a village-like campus that can naturally expand to meet the area's growing healthcare needs.

The design, which focuses on an existing lake with richly developed landscape and simple wayfinding, emphasizes clear, convenient entry and circulation and a strong sense of place.

The detail and character of the exterior and all public spaces evoke a “hill country” style and spirit, combining color, material, texture, and light in a visitor-friendly continuum. The arrival canopies, landscaped terraces, and public waiting/concourses convey the Planetree philosophy of patient/visitor care, emphasizing hospitality and convenience.

Project category: New construction (completed April 2003)

Chief administrator: Teresa Danna, Vice-President and CEO, (936) 266-4055

Firm: HGA, (612) 758-4324

Design team: Bob Walker, AIA, Principal; Frank Nemeth, AIA, Project Designer; Genevieve Johnson, Project Architect; AnnMarie Wittig, Interior Designer; Kurt Spiering, Project Designer

Photography: Aker/Zvonkovic Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 299,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $176

Total cost (excluding land): $52,502,620