MD Anderson Cancer Center Pickens Academic Tower
The 732,000-square-foot Pickens Academic Tower consolidates and houses administrative and faculty offices, a medical library, a conference center, fitness facility, dining facility, meeting rooms and retail functions. The mass of the 21-story building has been broken up to emphasize its verticality and the mechanical penthouse on top of the tower was designed as a lighted lantern to serve as a clearly identifiable beacon for MD Anderson within the Texas Medical Center skyline.
The base of the building includes a first-level, pedestrian-scaled arcade and a third-level sky bridge connection to other MD Anderson facilities. The third-level also serves as the campus mall, featuring the main dining area, conference and training spaces, as well as several retail components. Daylight is introduced into this space through skylights and exterior windows along the retail corridors. An exterior roof terrace on the fourth level offers additional gathering areas for faculty and staff. The top floor has been allocated to the research library, giving staff access to views of the campus and the city from that level.
Using MD Anderson’s robust office standards, the design team programmed and stacked over 700,000 square feet of office space for the Pickens Academic Tower. Adherence to space standards was the key to providing the kind of flexibility that was needed for an organization with a continuously changing program. A generic floor plan was developed locating 10’ x 12’ offices on the perimeter to be used for either a two-person shared office or a dedicated faculty office. The smaller columned offices and corner offices were dedicated to open-plan administrative support offices thereby bringing in natural light into the interior multi-person offices and corridors. Support spaces like conference rooms, support work rooms and storage are efficiently zoned against the building core and distributed evenly across the floors.
The team programmed, designed, managed the inventory of existing furniture, utilized the inventory database, developed furniture plans, specified new furniture standards, coordinated the furniture procurement and incorporated change management for this recently completed project. Inventory and furniture planning services were performed over a seven-year period and in several overlapping phases.
ENR Texas and Louisiana Best Projects. Interior Design / Tenant Improvement