Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Replacement
Killeen, Texas
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Replacement
Killeen, Texas

Recovery. It can be long. It can be hard. But for a soldier, it can mean walking. Seeing family again. Stability. The Army has a long history of strength, intelligence and efficiency. A military hospital needs to reflect that history. It needs to embrace the Army’s ideology. And it needs to provide the kind of care that is expected of the Army.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers selected the design-build team of McCarthy/Balfour Beatty and HKS/Wingler & Sharp to design and build a replacement for the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, providing a new state-of-the-art healthcare facility for service members and their families. The design-build team’s goal was to create a world-class hospital environment that utilizes evidence-based design concepts and promotes both healing and learning. The $527 million medical center includes a 615,000-square-foot, 122-bed hospital; 322,000 square feet of outpatient clinics; logistics building; a 23,000-square-foot central utility plant and three parking structures for 5,200 cars. Designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification, the facility will showcase numerous innovative sustainable and world-class features.

The Vision

Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $534 million 947,000-square-foot Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center reinforces and promotes the mission of Fort Hood medical care to provide world-class healthcare within a state-of-the-art, innovative and truly modern healing environment. The strength of the Army lies in its simple and efficient organization. The “mission readiness” of the personnel who serve is accomplished through training; support from their family, friends and community; and the extensive infrastructure of services, equipment and facilities. Reflecting “What Makes the Army Strong,” the replacement hospital provides the best medical care possible on the belief that simple organization and highly efficient planning leads to such a facility.


The Design

Circulation is a central design theme and touchstone, organizing all elements of the medical center. Circulation links the community (on- and off-post) to the campus, parking, associated garages, building and clinical functions in a logical cascade. The functional groupings of services are efficiently organized into “portals of care” – maximizing patient-centered care. The concourse, which runs the length of the facility, provides a clear, orienting element. The exterior design is simple and appealing – promoting efficiency in design and construction, and establishing a desirable healing environment. The building orientation works in harmony with the site, its natural topography, views, access and solar orientation. The hospital demonstrates Fort Hood pride – responding to and reflecting upon local geographical features such as topography, natural materials, rock formations, plateaus and ridges, wetlands and lakes, vegetation and wooded areas.