Physicians Hospital East, built in response to El Paso's growing population, is located on a 68-acre developing medical campus. The $34 million, three-level, 75,000-square-foot, 40-bed acute general hospital houses an extensive Imaging Department, a six-operating-room Surgery Department, Endoscopic and Cardiac Catheterization services, and Emergency, Laboratory, and Business Operations departments.

Located on a challenging site in the growing east side of El Paso, Physicians Hospital East is the anchor for a new medical campus designed to serve this dynamic community. Envisioned as a response to the deficiencies of the existing medical establishment in the city, the hospital was conceived and designed to be focused on the patient.

The group of community physicians and business leaders behind Physicians Hospital East envision it as the first of several new patient-service–focused facilities they intend to build to serve El Paso. As such, it was very important to them that the new facility have a readily identifiable image, easily associated with Physicians Hospital East, that also would convey the patient-focused mission of the hospital. To solve this problem, the design team looked to the same source of inspiration as the El Paso campus of the University of Texas (UTEP)—the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The architectural style of the mountain fortresses in this small kingdom located near Tibet greatly influences the architecture of the UTEP campus. Until Physicians Hospital East, UTEP was the only known example of the ancient Bhutanese style found in the Western Hemisphere.

Project category: New construction (completed December 2003)

Chief administrator: Pat Woods, (915) 858-7277

Firm: P&W Architects, LLP, (832) 554-1130

Design team: Dana Wilke, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Kevin TenBrook, AIA, CSI, LEED AP, Project Manager; Stephen Kolkmeier, Job Captain (P&W Architects, LLP); Andy Cook, MEP Engineer (EM Consulting Engineers); Mark Shepard, Structural Engineer (SCA Consulting Engineers)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 75,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $167

Total construction cost (excluding land): $12,500,000