The Ambulatory Care Center, part of the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza, is a world-class facility featuring two floors of healing space. The Surgery Center, located on Level 15, features spacious public waiting and business administration areas, a large nurses' station, 10 pre-op rooms, eight stage II surgery recovery rooms, 14 PACU rooms, three endoscopy recovery and two endoscopy procedure rooms, eight operating rooms, a staff lounge, men and women's locker rooms, and the requisite service areas.

The Breast Cancer Center, on level 16, features two MRIs (including one 1.5T and one 3.0T), two nuclear-medicine imaging-procedure rooms, CT imaging, a complete radiology center, chest room, three ultrasounds, separate facilities for men and women, and VIP family waiting areas.

One of the key differentiators of this facility is the focus on patients' well-being. For example, in MRI and CT rooms, color-changing LED light panels are displayed above the patients. This provides a sense of control and choice.

The color palette, materials and design are based on a circular, natural, “whole” life approach. Nature is the inspiration for the facility's color palette, using greens, yellows, terra-cotta, and burgundy throughout the Ambulatory Care Center. The Breast Cancer Center features soft blue tones, symbolizing soothing, healing water. Windows in the waiting area present a detailed view of beautiful tree-laden environments. Materials throughout the interiors included natural stone, real wood, laminates, and ceramic tiles with wood and metal accents, which helped maintain the nature theme and continuity.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed January 2007)

Chief administrator: Marshall Heins, Chief Facility Services Officer, (713) 448-5090

Firm: WHR Architects, (713) 665-5665

Design team: Peggy Berry, Senior Interior Designer; Grant Gehring, Senior Project Architect; Joe Santamaria, Construction Administration; Kelly Diklich, Project Architect; Bill Ganshirt, Project Manager, Principal-in-Charge; Charles Cadenhead, Senior Medical Planner

Photography: Joe Aker Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 29,274 (new); 25,578 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $191 (new); $172 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $5,600,000 (new); 4,400,000 (renovation)