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04.15.2014
Good Prognosis
New Austin medical complex by Page architects ties into campus and city.
The architects broke up the massing with a variety of cladding materials.
Courtesy PAGE

The University of Texas Regents have approved the first phase of the new Dell Medical School in Austin’s medical district. Designed by Page (formerly Page Southerland Page) and ZGF, the project includes a 260,000-square-foot research building and a 230,000-square-foot office building, a new education building, and a parking structure for 1,120 cars. A new hospital building, designed by HKS, will complete the complex.

The Page/ZGF team was selected over three other finalists, including teams by Perkins + Will, Ballinger with VAI and Studio 8 Architects, and WHR Architects with Lake|Flato Architects.

 

Medical complexes often appear monolithic and forbidding, a condition which the design team avoided by breaking up the massing and using a variety of cladding materials, including UT’s traditional Cordova Cream limestone and metal shingles, and smartly integrating the building into its creek-side site. The project is also climate sensitive. The north-facing side of the education building is mostly glass, with the building’s circulation system expressed on the exterior, and informal gathering areas overlooking a grove of live oaks. The sunnier public side is more opaque and clad in textured limestone. The research and medical office buildings, clad in contrasting light limestone and dark metal shingles respectively, are joined by a multiple story glass bridge, allowing access through the site to the creek. The project anticipates a connection to the city’s light rail line, which will further tie the complex into both the campus and the capital city.

Alan G. Brake