What makes the Denton A. Cooley Building so unique is its combination of functions all stacked vertically on a tight site, sharing entry, drop-off points, and vertical circulation with an existing facility. The connection integrates the functions and floor-to-floor heights of the two buildings.

The 10-story facility contains offices for the Texas Heart Institute, 10 cardiovascular operating rooms, three patient bed care floors, two laboratory floors, and a helipad on the roof. Additional amenities include viewing domes in two operating rooms, a 500-seat auditorium for telemedicine, a learning resource center, a research library, rooms for classroom-style teaching, conferencing rooms, a museum, and a videotaping studio.

Focusing on the rapidly changing image of healthcare, the hospital recognizes that patients’ recoveries are directly tied to the sensitivity of their surroundings. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital occupies a 6.7-acre site within the densely populated Texas Medical Center. Surrounded by high-rise development, the initial approach exhibits the structure’s dominant form: the clear-glass four-story atrium that begins on the fifth floor.

The patient care experience at the new hospital addresses the challenge of combining high-tech medical care with an environment that strives to be sensitive and humane for all patients, visitors, and staff. Nursing stations and pods function as wireless and paperless areas. Operating rooms are set up for future robotics. With the addition of telemedicine technology, this unique facility will influence future developments in healthcare.

Project category: New construction (completed January 2002)

Chief administrator: John J. Lynch, CEO, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, (713) 791-2695; Marc Matteson, Senior VP, Texas Heart Institute, (713) 791-3792

Firms: Morris Architects, (713) 622-1180; RTKL Health, (214) 871-8877

Design team: Pete Ed Garrett, AIA, Senior Design Principal; Richard Leyendecker, AIA, Project Manager (Morris Architects); Wayne Barger, AIA, Project Manager; John Castorina, AIA, Project Designer; Mike Zapp, AIA, Project Architect (RTKL Health)

Photography: © Scott McDonald, Hedrich Blessing; © Ron St. Angelo

Total building area (GSF): 334,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $191.50

Total cost (excluding land): $63,960,771