Texas Woman’s University T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences Dallas Center
Dallas, Texas
Texas Woman's University
T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences
Dallas Center
Dallas, Texas

Collaboration. To save lives, it’s necessary. Individuals working together for a greater purpose. Each with their own integral part of the process. Teamwork starts in the classroom, where students contribute to the whole by working with future industry colleagues. It’s here where they’re instilled with the sense of commitment to the team.

Texas Woman’s University’s (TWU) T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences Dallas Center combines TWU’s Parkland and Presbyterian sites into a dynamic “campus-in-one” building at the Parkland Hospital location. The institute allows TWU — already the state’s leading higher-education facility for training nurses and other healthcare professionals — to incorporate industry-standard technology into classrooms and laboratories that will enhance students’ career preparation. Bringing together TWU’s College of Nursing, the nationally recognized TWU Stroke Center and TWU’s nationally ranked occupational and physical therapy programs facilitates the new model of educating together via a “vertical university concept,” including all of the disciplines needed for a team approach to patient care. The LEED Silver certified building incorporates open spaces to encourage shared areas and inspire interaction and collaboration, and serves as a vibrant, forward-thinking icon for any campus passersby.


The Vision

Our vision of this project represents a new paradigm in university planning. Designed for 1,200 students studying nursing as well as physical and occupational therapy, the nine-story building (eight levels above grade) vertically encompasses everything in one building that traditional campuses typically provide across several buildings.

Cutting-edge labs and tiered classrooms for instruction are connected with wide corridors and informal gathering spaces for student interaction. Just like traditional campuses, facilities for recreation and fitness, dining and socialization, faculty offices and computer and library services are all present.

The vision and focus of serving the total needs of the student within the facility have resulted in a dramatic increase in enrollment and student success rates.


The Design

With the multiple programmatic needs focused on providing a total college experience, the design concept is based on traditional campus planning principles, with circulation divided by public plazas between program elements.

Each floor has wide corridors that end in a dramatic public space flooded with natural light and connecting vertically via an open staircase. The two open ends of the building provide the passersby with clear views of what goes on inside, lending a connection to the community. Colorful wall treatments and playful furnishings add another level of community outreach; when viewed at night, the space becomes a multicolor lantern that can be seen from the nearby roadways.

In contrast to the glass-enclosed public spaces, each of the programmatic spaces differed in the need for natural light and view, leading to the seemingly random pattern of the building’s windows. This pattern was embraced and enhanced through the design process by using two window options: one, a vision panel at eye level, and another smaller window using fritted glass above eye level to provide diffused natural light when appropriate. The resulting design provides an energetic random pattern on the building’s façade.


“Working with the education studio provided a personal level of service often not available from such a large firm. They have listened attentively, provided insight and ultimately determined optimum solutions to the many issues related to planning and building a facility of this scope and including the technology required in today's healthcare learning environment.”
|  Harold D. Johnson, Associate Vice President, Facilities Management and Construction, Texas Woman's University   |