The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dallas, TX

Nurses' Station
Medical machine

One building, two towers, infinite possibilities in the fight to eliminate brain disease and cancer. The University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center is looking to positively impact countless individuals’ healthcare outcomes in the next hundred years through critical, person-centered, empathetic care.

UTSW is home to the North Texas region’s only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. Paired with the internationally recognized brain institute next door, the medical center’s positive patient experience was the guiding force behind the new complex’s design.

While these two disciplines function in seemingly separate spaces, the buildings work together in a cohesive, seamless design. As the public-facing arm of the project, the Outpatient Cancer Care Tower of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center offers a welcoming, calming environment that makes patients feel comfortable and in control. The Research Tower of the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute provides security and privacy for the researchers. In both scenarios, patient and staff flow are top priorities.

The team considered how each decision might impact the patient experience. Ease of access to treatment spaces and appropriate, secure access for staff led the programming team to think intuitively about the layout of every floor, department, and pod. The design received the stamp of approval from UTSW leadership and users, thanks largely to virtual reality, weekly visits with the client, and mutual trust.

As part of the master plan for the North Campus development, the Outpatient Cancer Care Tower and the Research Tower of the Brain Institute support strategic priorities: research, training, and clinical services related to the brain and cancer. The goal? Eliminate brain disease and cancer altogether.

Building Facts

  • 235 Private Exam and Infusion Rooms
  • 1200-Car Parking Garage
  • 769,650 GSF New Construction
  • 21.5 Acres
  • Architecture, Interior Design, Lab Planning, Equipment Planning, Signage and Wayfinding
  • Clinic Trial Programs, Research Space, Exam and Infusion Rooms, Imaging Suites, Conference Center, Food Services, Meditation Space, Community Teaching Space

We expect this outpatient cancer care tower to be not only the exceptional destination for those with a cancer diagnosis in Dallas and in surrounding areas seeking the latest standards of care, but also a shining light of clinical investigation, innovation, and progress.

Dr. Carlos Arteaga Associate Dean of Oncology Programs, Director of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center