University Medical Center New Orleans
Architect: NBBJ/Blitch Knevel
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Category B: Built, More than $25 million in construction cost
University Medical Center provides New Orleans with critical safety-net care in a sophisticated 1.5 million-square-foot facility built to withstand natural disaster. Programs include inpatient services, cancer care, behavioral health and a Level 1 trauma center. The design promotes holistic healing, from landscaped courtyards to all-private inpatient rooms with natural light and in-suite bathrooms. Wide double-bays and sliding breakout doors enable swift action in treatment zones. Floor-to-ceiling windows in public spaces create transparency and uplifting views, while custom artwork and graphics throughout the hospital celebrate New Orleans’ rich heritage.
The jury appreciated sensitivity to context and resiliency in designing a hospital. This large project is successful in addressing scale, sense of place, visual experience and integration of outdoor spaces. The building façade is well thought-out balancing aesthetics, safety and human comfort. The thoughtful use of color inside the building is comforting and facilitates wayfinding. The jury recognized a level of design consistency across the project.