COTE Tour: Texas Health/UTSW Frisco

October 20, 2022
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Credit: 1.0 HSW
Texas Health Resources
12400 Dallas Parkway
Frisco, TX 75033
cboldt@aiadallas.org
214.742.3242

Brought to you by: Committee On The Environment

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Texas Health Frisco has everything you would anticipate from an advanced medical center, including a collaboration with world-renowned UT Southwestern.

The new Texas Health Resources (THR Frisco) campus located in Frisco, Texas, is a community health facility that helps promote well-being by empowering community members to take an active role in their health and wellness. The overall campus is designed to create a sense of community within its grounds, as well as connectivity and engagement with the surrounding city through a thoughtful arrangement of facilities, site circulation and landscape architecture.

Opened in December 2019, the environmentally friendly campus, which consists of an eight-story, 132-bed hospital and a four-story medical office building for UT Southwestern, serves as a community gathering space that emphasizes wellness with the same commitment it devotes to sick patients. From the moment you arrive on campus, it is clear that the campus was built with patients and visitors in mind. The campus is inviting and easy to navigate, which promotes comfort and eases the stress associated with healthcare and the complexities of a hospital campus. To achieve this, the overall masterplan sought to organize a framework that was simple, connected, and intuitive for those unfamiliar with the facility. Throughout the campus, there are also hospitality-like touches you would not expect, like boot camps and yoga classes, walking trails, lush planting, natural materials like wood and limestone, and a rainwater irrigation system. THR Frisco is more than simply a hospital – it is a destination for health and well-being.

The overall design story – from the architecture, throughout the site – is the idea of geology and the formation of the land. This is particularly evident in the gradual transition from the prairie landscape at the site perimeter and main entry to the gradual introduction of rock and rock outcropping-type forms of varying intensity at building levels that tie to more detailed landscape leading from the main entrance through the site to the front door, through the courtyard, and ultimately, connecting to the park spaces beyond. The landscape gradually becomes more detailed as the spaces become more human focused and scaled, intended to reinforce the connection of people to outdoor environments but to also help with the overall organization and implied wayfinding throughout the site.

Because the site is adjacent to a neighborhood, the design team was careful to take note of the wants and needs of the surrounding community from the very beginning of the design process. The team received input from local residents, neighborhood associations, and City leaders which was then used to help establish the project goals. At the project inception, the owners established a goal of a natural look and feel for the campus. To achieve this goal, the architect and landscape architect utilized natural materials throughout the hospital, medical office building and exterior spaces to promote a feeling of wellness and healing through an environmental connection with nature. Large glulam columns were chosen for their distinctive appearance and durability, also giving the hospital its signature look.

Through best practices in site planning, architecture, and landscape design, visitors and staff can enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces as day-to-day amenities, while at the same time, connecting to the surrounding community through event programming. The campus design prioritizes environmental sensitivity with focuses on low energy use, efficient site orientation, water reclamation, and a landscape plant palette comprised of native plants requiring minimal maintenance. Buildings are oriented on site to specifically reduce wind exposure and noise pollution for patient comfort, and natural light and materials are also found throughout the facility, including a wooded skybridge between the office building and hospital, which is meant to emulate the feeling of walking along branches of a tree canopy. Materials, such as wood and limestone, chosen by the landscape architect provide an experience that feels more hospitality-than-healthcare in nature.

The landscape architect worked with the architect on the site and building orientation to provide hydrologic and hydraulic benefits, reduce noise pollution, and mitigate wind and solar exposure to maximize patient comfort. With the owner’s desire to embrace sustainable initiatives, the landscape architect also focused heavily on incorporating best practices for low energy use and water reclamation. To create a balanced water efficient landscape/irrigation system, the landscape architect paired a native plant palette with a re-use irrigation system that uses roof runoff and air conditioning condensate to account for 95% of the landscape water demand. Stormwater runoff from 90% of surface parking spaces is diverted to bioswales for filtration prior to entering an underground storm detention system. To provide a comfortable shaded environment in the courtyard and respite garden, the landscape architect preserved several mature onsite existing trees.

AN OPTIONAL HAPPY HOUR WILL FOLLOW.