The Houston Methodist Hospital's $249 million outpatient center opened in 2010 on a one-and-a-half city block city in the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

The 1.6 million square-foot facility, designed by WHR Architects, was designed to bring all of hospital's outpatient services under one roof, including orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular imaging, cancer care, and outpatient surgery. A few years later, the team joined back up to fit out four shell floors, which were completed in 2015.

Attendees of the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Houston toured those new floors on Saturday, Nov. 12, led by representatives from Houston Methodist and WHR.

The four floors include a new surgical suite (on floor 18), infusion clinic expansion (floor 21), oncology clinic and Kenneth R. Peak Center for Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment & Research (floor 24), and the J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center.

Stephanie Schwindel, said the design team took the opportunity to gather input from the staff to drive changes and improvements—both aesthetically and operationally—on the new floors.

For example, in the new surgical suite, the approximately 550-square-foot room ORs are same handed with a new configuration that orients the nurse station toward the operating table.

Additionally, the unit was split into two sections of eight ORs, each with its own sterile core for additional supplies. The staff also requested a touch of color within the operating environment, so a blue accent wall panel system was added.

Pre-op and recovery rooms were upgraded from jack-and-Jill style bathrooms between two rooms to all-private bathrooms as part of the build out of floor 18. The floors also utilize a wave plate door opening system, nurse call light system, and designated onstage/offstage areas

The building is classified as business occupancy but designed so that it can upgraded for future flexibility, including eight-foot-wide corridors and flexible room configurations. Wood drop-down ceiling elements are used for wayfinding at key points on each floor, including near nurses’ stations and at key intersections in the hallways.

While several upgrades were made as part of the fit out of the shell floors, the original building aesthetic, including wood accents, nature-themed imagery and textiles, and a warm color palette were carried into the new floors, such as neutral-colored furnishings, exam room curtains and door signage with images from nature, and interior spaces that maximize daylighting and views to the outdoors.

See the photo gallery for a look inside.