Authors Hank Adams, AIA, and Chuck Armstrong, AIA, from the new Parkland Hospital design team of HDR + Corgan, share the process their team went through to create the facility's master plan in HEALTHCARE DESIGN 's four-part online exclusive series. The design team simultaneously executed both the master planning and hospital schematic design processes to achieve a completely integrated design solution. In the first installment of the series, Adams and Armstrong discuss the guiding principles of the master plan and the charrette design.

The new Parkland Hospital project includes a $1.27-billion healthcare campus and replacement of the existing 56-year-old Parkland Memorial Hospital. The Parkland campus is located within Dallas’s Southwestern Medical District and serves as a teaching hospital for the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) School of Medicine.
Guiding principles for the master plan of the new 64-acre healthcare campus, as well as an 862-bed, 1.9 million-square-foot, full-service acute care replacement hospital, included:

  • The concept of a “hospital in the park”;
  • Reflection of the history, mission, and values of the Parkland community;
  • Creation of an acute care hub with direct access to the medical district;
  • A clear hierarchy of streets, pathways, and inter-campus connections;
  • A strong campus identity;
  • Recognition of the multi-cultural aspect of the Dallas community;
  • Flexibility and adaptability for future changes in healthcare delivery;
  • Dedication to “on stage/off stage” throughout both campus and buildings; and
  • A patient- and family-centered care model.

The charrette design: A reinterpretation of the master plan The HDR + Corgan design team simultaneously executed both the master planning and hospital schematic design processes for the new campus to successfully achieve a completely integrated design solution.

The team established three integrated campus planning teams, each consisting of professionals with expertise in healthcare site planning and design, healthcare architecture, healthcare operations analysis, medical space planning, urban and campus planning, and mixed-use development. During a week-long charrette—a focused, interactive, iterative planning and design process—the teams developed scores of site plan options. Through comparative analysis, debate, presentations, and constructive external critique, a single master plan concept was selected.

Subsequent to the initial charrette, a second week-long charrette was held during which dozens of evolutions of the selected plan concept, elevation concepts, and hospital design concepts were developed and tested. Separate design teams evolved, each focusing on particular areas needing refinement. Teams were established for: hospital planning and programming, hospital operations and management, facility operations and maintenance, urban design and architectural aesthetics, and real estate and transit-oriented development.

Check back on for the second installment of this online exclusive series on the new Parkland Hopsital to hear how the multidisciplinary team established a strong design vision for the facility. Hank Adams is Vice President and Healthcare Principal with HDR Architecture. Chuck Armstrong is Principal with Corgan Associates. HDR + Corgan is the joint venture design team for the new Parkland Hospital project. For more information about the Parkland Hospital project, please visit

Photo Credit: © HDR + Corgan