CareTower E is Medical City Dallas’s new $47 million, state-of-the-art, six-story critical-care tower. Located in the new building are er2, an emergency department for pediatric and adult services; critical care floors; and an education and conference center. The project increases the hospital’s ICU capacity by 50%.

Located on level one is a central energy plant. Level two serves as the education and conference center. Connecting level two’s lobby to the public entrance lobby on level three is the dramatic monumental staircase. Level three houses the new er2, with floors four through six holding critical care, dialysis, and telemetry rooms.

The addition of er2 enables the hospital to accommodate 70,000 visits per year. It is made up of separate adult and pediatric emergency departments outfitted with specialized equipment. With its circular design, separate entrances and waiting areas are provided for adult and pediatric patients in the front of the facility, while emergency-response vehicles bring patients to a third entrance at the rear. The pediatric emergency department has a play area designed with a cheerful, nautical-theme décor that disguises imposing equipment.

Project category: New construction (completed March 2006)

Chief administrator: Britt Berrett, FACHE, President, (972) 566-7000

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

Design team: Mark S. Stewart, AIA, Account Executive; H. David Jarvis, RA, Project Architect; Angela Garcia-Prieto, Project Designer; Robert T. “Bob” Groves, AIA, CSI, Construction Administration (Jonathan Bailey Associates); Alex Gray, Mechanical Engineering Project Manager (CCRD Partners); Laura Ginsberg, Interior Design (Medical Space Design, Inc.)

Photography: Michael Lorfing, Media Dept., Medical City; Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA, Black Ink Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 182,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $260

Total construction cost (excluding land): $47,325,000

The new conference and education center in CareTower E features a 200-seat, high-tech auditorium known as Presidents’ Hall. This addition will facilitate Medical City’s expanded research efforts in a variety of ways, including videoconferencing equipment linking the auditorium to the imaging equipment in the hospital’s operating rooms, and broadcasts from biomedical device companies announcing new developments and technology. The conference and education center will serve as a hub of information and research for staff, patients, and media alike.

From a staff perspective, the floor layouts are a model of strategic organization. Designed for efficiency, the patient rooms are laid out in pairs, with all glass-front windows and doors. The nearby twin nurse “mini-stations” are glazed on three sides and sandwiched between the rooms, so that observation of patients is easier and more operational. Computers with flat-screen monitors at each mini-station are tied into a central office network, so that patient information can be updated from multiple locations throughout the unit. Inside each room there is storage space to securely store supplies and medicines, making it more efficient for staff than having to bring items from a central support station.