The owners of the Tuscan Professional Building in Las Colinas, Texas, asked Jonathan Bailey Associates to design a distinctive medical office building with a cutting-edge public image. Sited on land with a 15-foot grade from one side to the other, the building has two levels of professional offices and one level of underground parking, a natural solution exploiting the elevation drop-off. The building provides 53,000 square feet of space conveniently near Baylor Health Center at Irving Coppell and the Las Colinas Medical Center. The project was completed in September 2004.

The architects could not design in a vacuum, as the new building would be surrounded by several others with low profiles. The client wanted to maintain that aspect even though the building stands out, taking advantage of high visibility, with a major street on one side and a highway on the other.

Several medical groups, including Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, PA, and the Texas Colon and Rectal Surgeons Associates, LLP, own the building, using some of the space and leasing the rest. Care was taken to make the building appealing for both medical offices and laboratories. As such, the design is a leading example of a trend to build advanced medical office campuses near major medical centers, so that patients can enjoy a convenient drive-up and treatment experience unhindered by the complexity of a hospital visit, and practitioners can have access to all the functionality they require.

The resulting design is clean and elegant, with an element of grandness that sets the building apart from its neighbors. The building is integrated into the hillside site, with a two-story façade in front and a three-story façade in back. Covered parking occupies the first floor in the back. The building is also oriented to mitigate the track of the hot Texas sun.

Encased stairwells are located on the outside of the building, both for visual appeal and to maximize the amount of lease space inside the building. The shining stainless steel stairs contrast nicely with the stone and masonry materials predominant on the exterior. The design also incorporates walls that extend just beyond the actual floor plan for visual effect, helping to blend the building into its landscaped surroundings. Clad in red granite, these walls contrast with the black and white of the building and the stainless steel stairwells.

Project category: New construction (completed September 2004)

Chief administrator: Steven Katzman, MD, Partner, (214) 496-1100

Firm: Jonathan Bailey Associates, (469) 227-3900

Design team: Jonathan D. Bailey, FAIA, NCARB, NCIDQ, Principal-in-Charge; Jan Winters, RA, Project Manager; Nestor Infanzon, FAIA, Project Designer (Jonathan Bailey Associates); Kerry R. Burden, Owner's Representative (PM Realty Group); C.F. Jordan, LP, General Contractor (Robin Povey, General Contractor)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 53,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $75

Total construction cost (excluding land): $4,000,000