Project category: New construction (completed December 2006)

Chief administrator: Laura Irvine, President, Methodist Medical Center, (682) 622-2059

Firm: RTKL Associates, Inc., (214) 468-7701

Design team: Brad T. Barker, AIA, NCARB, Principal-in-Charge; Steven Biller, AIA, Lead Designer; Keith Guidry, AIA, Project Manager; Richard Miller, AIA, Project Architect; Amy E. Thomasson, IIDA, Interior Designer; Marty McIntire, Medical Technology & Equipment Planning

Photography: © Charles Davis Smith

Total building area (sq. ft.): 312,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $196

Total construction cost (excluding land): $61,300,000

Methodist Health System of Dallas asked that its first new hospital in 30 years support patient-centered care by way of advanced technology, timeless design, and guest amenities—all appropriately tailored for the hospital’s suburban new-market locale.

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center’s exterior meets the client’s goal of a timeless, location-appropriate design, and it answers the city’s desire for a cohesive look among its buildings. Terra-cotta–colored brick, expanses of glass, and white stone provide a classic look that coordinates with the outward appearance of Mansfield’s schools and civic buildings.

An 85-foot-tall aluminum cross reaches from inside the lobby to the full height of the building, creating an easily identifiable icon at the entry to this faith-based institution.

Glass walls at the lobby entrances help visitors stay oriented by providing views both into and out of public spaces. Visual cues and an easy-to-understand building layout make wayfinding easy. Public reception points throughout the hospital are keynoted by circular elements at the ceiling and floor planes.

The five-story hospital offers all-digital technology and advanced equipment, including electronic medical records, a 64-slice CT scanner, PACS, and an infant-abduction alert system. The building’s infrastructure can accommodate future advances in technology.

The five-story, elliptically shaped patient tower is designed to house 36 rooms on each floor. Shell space on levels four and five can quickly double the number of medical/surgical beds currently in use.

The Women’s Pavilion has spacious, homelike suites for labor, delivery, and recovery that can accommodate the entire family. The department includes a special care nursery, continuing care unit, and well-baby nursery.

When visitors arrive at the patient floor, they are greeted at the central reception desk that faces the elevators. It’s a single point of access that does double duty as a security feature. Adjacent to the reception desk is a comfortable family lounge with kitchen amenities.

Decentralized nurses’ stations between every two rooms facilitate charting and help nurses stay near patients. Curved hallways enhance caregiver views to patient rooms.

The elliptical shape of the building gives the patient rooms a long exterior wall that accommodates large windows and outboard toilets that reduce patient falls. The acuity-adaptable private rooms provide patient-friendly amenities, including family sleeping accommodations, flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet connectivity, and cellular reinforcement.