Architecture-for-Health students create healthcare 'hub' designs

George Mann

Joe Sprague

Ron Skaggs

Conceptual designs of a “health hub,” an emerging healthcare facility concept that emphasizes illness prevention as well as treatment, were unveiled recently by Texas A&M [environmental design] ( students at public events in Dallas and on campus.

The 16 students, enrolled in a spring 2018 architecture-for-health studio, traveled to Dallas April 28, 2018 to present their designs at the headquarters of [HKS Inc] ( ., whose architects advised studio members during the semester. They also presented their concepts May 1 at the College of Architecture.

A new health care delivery idea, the hub concept aims to overhaul the patient’s experience by including new twists on age-old routines — a waiting area that resembles a public square, for example — and improving how providers interact with patients.

Students created designs for a 451,000-square-foot space in the eastern U.S. that is earmarked for a future health care facility.

Working in eight teams, students developed modules containing exam rooms and office spaces to promote collaboration between patients, health care providers and staff.

In an effort to draw the building’s surrounding community to the facility, the designs also included retail space for pharmacies, optical sales stores, indoor and outdoor community gathering spaces, and covered vehicle parking.

Some designs included space for health care education.

“We wanted our design to allow for hands-on health and wellness learning for community members of all ages,” said Meggan Lytle, who teamed with Katie Reyes. “We sought to provide the community with a vibrant health hub that will inspire members to care for their body, mind, spirit, and environment."

The designs also included numerous sustainability features, including rainwater collection facilities, solar panels, and rooftop healing gardens.

“This experience helped them develop practical solutions to design problems,” said Joe Sprague, HKS principal and senior vice president, who also served as a project adviser.

Additional HKS designers from across the country who visited the studio or assisted students via teleconference were Krisianna Bock, Shannon Kraus, Karthik Ramadurai and Sheila Ruder.

The students were led by George J. Mann, holder of the Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA Endowed Professorship in Health Facilities Design.

Richard Nira

posted May 5, 2018