School of Nursing and Student Community Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston / Lake|Flato Architects and BNIM Architects

© Hester + Hardaway

Architect: BNIM Architects, Lake|Flato Architects
Location: Houston, , United States
Project Team: Steve McDowell, FAIA; Kimberly Hickson, AIA; Chris Koon, AIA; David Immenschuh; David Lake, FAIA; Greg Papay, AIA; Kenny Brown
Consultants:  BNIM Architects, Jaster Quintanilla & Associates, Carter Burgess, Inc., Ferguson Consulting, Inc., Supersymmetry, Clanton Associates, Epsilon Engineering, Walter P. Moore, Coleman & Associates, Apex Busby, Rolf Jenson & Associates, Philo & Wilke Architects, Arup, Pelton Marsh Kinsella, Worrell Design Group, Lerch Bates & Associates, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Rocky Mountain Institute, Elements
Contractor: Jacobs/VaughnGreg Papay, FAIA
Project Area: 18,023 sqm
Project Year:  2004
Photographs: Hester + Hardaway

    By improving health and reducing environmental harm, the collaboration between  and BNIM Architects for the UTHSC School of Nursing has become a model for social and educational space that is both inspiring and accountable.

© Hester + Hardaway

Located in the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center, this building reaches out to the rest of the almost 50 medical institutions nearby, but is still able to stand out amongst its surroundings because of its promotion of health not only in function and use, but in construction and performance as well.  Given the density of the medical center and the size of its site, the building becomes a vertical campus, with a gradient of public-to-private spaces moving up from the ground level.

© Hester + Hardaway

The most prevalent and impressive aspect of the project is its sustainability efforts. The entire UTHSC School of Nursing was built with 50% recycled materials. Photovoltaic panels and daylight strategies on the different facades respond to varying solar conditions depending on their orientation, and utilize natural light without increasing heat gain, leading to a 40% reduction in energy use. Rainwater collection allows for a 60% reduction in water use. All of these processes together lead the project to reach LEED Gold certification.

© Hester + Hardaway

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Cite: "School of Nursing and Student Community Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston / Lake|Flato Architects and BNIM Architects" 14 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>

1 comment

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    used to live near here when it was being built. While this project wasn’t like earthshaking architecture worthy of international ogling, it is quite literally 1000% better than the usual boring dreck that gets built in the medical center in the name of cost savings. These guys are very real about sustainability too and this project wasn’t a simple greenwashing job, so overall it ended up a very interesting project.

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