Project category: New construction (completed December 2003)

Chief administrator: Caswell Fitzpatrick, Administration, (985) 875-2884

Firm: Sizeler Architects Healthcare Design Group, LLC, (504) 523-6472

Design team: Jose M. Fernandez, AIA, ASHE, Principal-in-Charge; Leslie Jordan, Jr., Project Manager; Kevin Kinchen, AIA, Production Captain (Sizeler Architects Healthcare Design Group, LLC); Chip Higbee, Project Manager, MEP Engineering (IMC Consulting Engineers); Edmund Schrenk, PE, Project Manager, Structural/Civil Engineering (Schrenk & Peterson Consulting Engineers)

Photography: David Richmond

Total building area (sq. ft.): 99,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $151

Total construction cost (excluding land): $14,974,000

For 60 years, Ochsner Clinic Foundation has served the healthcare needs of the Gulf South. Ochsner Clinic Foundation North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) in Covington, Louisiana, is one of the institution's newest additions.

Located across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, NSMC consolidates Ochsner's primary and specialty care for the area and houses a laboratory and outpatient surgery center. In response to the client's wishes, NSMC is a contemporary, state-of-the-art medical facility that maintains a rural community feel and optimizes patient flow and staff efficiency through its design, which also allows for future expansion.

NSMC consists of two buildings—a one-story, 13,500-square-foot Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) and a two-story, 85,500-square-foot Clinic—converging in an airy Reception. The main entrance is sheltered by a porte cochere. Locally made, hand-molded bricks are used for the exterior.

Inside, visitors are greeted by calm, healing interior architecture. The Clinic Reception area is spacious with curved walls and ceilings, promoting a feeling of movement. A glass façade provides wetland and woodland views. The architects worked with NSMC staff to ensure the most efficient floor layout throughout the Clinic, resulting in quick turnaround for patients.

The Clinic and ASC merge in the Reception area. The Clinic and ASC floor plans center on patient flow for efficient circulation and staff convenience. The central nurses' station has an unobstructed view of pre-op, observation, and recovery areas.

For expansion, the Clinic has 15,500 square feet of shelled unfinished space, while the ASC can accommodate an eventual second floor.