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MD Anderson Margaret M. Alkek Hospital For Biomedical Research


woolie

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I don't think I've seen this on the forum yet. Not very tall, but another example of how the TMC just keeps adding, and adding, and adding, and adding. TMC infill will be almost completely done in another few years, with zero surface parking lots.

Groundbreaking was on Sept 15. They're doing the demolition of the courtyard right now, and should start digging the basement/foundation soon. Since my window overlooks the construction site, I might provide updates as it goes along :)

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Research Tower Facts:

8 stories

5 lab floors

170,000 sq. ft.

60 new faculty

Approved: May 18, 2005

Ground Breaking: Sept. 15, 2005

Occupancy: June 2007

On May 18, 2005, the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees approved the design of a new research building to be constructed on the south side of the main campus between the Jewish Building and Garage 6.

The new building is named the Margaret M. Alkek Building for Biomedical Research in honor of generous support recently received from the Alkek Foundation in support of the Research Enterprise.

The eight story building will contain five floors of flexible laboratory and office space designed to foster collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

Exterior Design Includes features of both the Alkek and Cullen Buildings

design.jpg

Glass and metal exterior that will resemble the curved side of the Alkek Building, tying together the two sides of the Campus

Strong vertical elements that reflect the art deco style of the Cullen Building

Glass vertical triangular elements and horizontal sun shades that lower sun glare

High glass (13 feet) at window wall in lab to permit light penetration into interior spaces

Lab/Office Design

sideview.jpg

The Lab Floors will be at the top of building and will have a good view of the Medical Center

Offices located on Jewish side

Connecting stairwell on lab floors open to floor and glass enclosed

Courtyard:

courtyard.jpg

Models:

aerial.jpg

model1.jpg

Edited by Ian Rees
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Boring! In a few years, it will be just another drab, background building.

Heh, compared to the other BCM buildings, it's quite spectacular!! Really, their first attempt at any kind of architectural distinction since the original Cullen building was built in the 40's.

BCM has miles of hallways on an average of 9 floors per building. Every single linear foot of it is absolutely identical linoleum flooring and offwhite walls. :)

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Patient demand is driving the need for expansion, Thomas Burke, M. D. Anderson's physician-in-chief, said in a prepared statement.

In the last nine years M. D. Anderson has logged a 75 percent increase in the number of cancer patients it treats, with a patient load of 79,496 last year.

I guess that means they don't see a cancer cure on the horizon.....I'd like to live long enough to see the place closed down and turned into luxury lofts. B)

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Patient demand is driving the need for expansion, Thomas Burke, M. D. Anderson's physician-in-chief, said in a prepared statement.

In the last nine years M. D. Anderson has logged a 75 percent increase in the number of cancer patients it treats, with a patient load of 79,496 last year.

I guess that means they don't see a cancer cure on the horizon.....I'd like to live long enough to see the place closed down and turned into luxury lofts. B)

A real cure for cancer would cause a TMC building boom like nothing you could imagine. An effective cure would probably be very intensive. :)

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  • 5 months later...

They just got started on this expansion a couple weeks ago... MD Anderson is crazy huge. Here is a link with a larger rendering:

http://www.mccarthy.com/download/press_photos/MDAnderson.asp

I think it's funny how most people on the forum kind of disregard all the new TMC buildings under construction. Nothing has a larger economic impact on the city IMO.

Edited by wernicke
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I think it's funny how most people on the forum kind of disregard all the new TMC buildings under construction. Nothing has a larger economic impact on the city IMO.

The Texas Medical Center may not get nearly as much press as some puny three-block project downtown (on which we've spent about 3,000 posts discussing), but I agree that the growth occurring there is a far more critical component of our economy than even the total growth of downtown Houston.

The thing is...with few exceptions, most folks on this forum are relatively young and not at all cancer-prone...in fact, many of them haven't yet had the opportunity to figure out that they aren't immortal. They don't know much about the cancer treatment process beyond, possibly, what they've picked up second-hand from their older relatives, and even their cancerous relatives don't have the total picture of what is going on behind the scenes as they are being treated.

So, switching gears back to something like Houston Pavilions, that includes 300,000 square feet of trendy retail oriented towards not just the general population, but to a younger well-educated demographic like tends to exist on this forum. It affects them more directly, they know (generally) what's going on in the background and of all the secondary effects. And adding to that, a number of them have drank the urbanist kool-aid and have a downtown fetish.

Most will agree that the Alkek expansion is important, but they're just talking from an esoteric point of view, usually having to do with having jobs in the urban core, but aren't themselves really interested.

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The difference is that Houston Pavilions is something radically different for Downtown Houston (an entire 3 blocks dedicated to retail and restaurants and entertainment which is pedestrian friendly and transit friendly in a downtown which has less retail and restaurant and entertainment options than most of us would like to see). There is also a new apartment tower next door which is relatively new and different for Downtown. There is a pretty good chance that HP can spur some real change Downtown, hence all of interest in it.

An additional 10 floors of space at MD Anderson is amazing in it's own way, but is just more of the same for the TMC. It's not something different. It won't radically change the Medical Center. I think that's why there has been less discussion on it.

It's awesome news for me though, because there's a chance I'll spend my next 5 years or so at MD Anderson (crosses fingers), and it's definitely a great thing for the TMC. It's just not as different as HP is downtown.

Edited by Jax
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The difference is that Houston Pavilions is something radically different for Downtown Houston (an entire 3 blocks dedicated to retail and restaurants and entertainment which is pedestrian friendly and transit friendly in a downtown which has less retail and restaurant and entertainment options than most of us would like to see). There is also a new apartment tower next door which is relatively new and different for Downtown. There is a pretty good chance that HP can spur some real change Downtown, hence all of interest in it.

An additional 10 floors of space at MD Anderson is amazing in it's own way, but is just more of the same for the TMC. It's not something different. It won't radically change the Medical Center. I think that's why there has been less discussion on it.

It's awesome news for me though, because there's a chance I'll spend my next 5 years or so at MD Anderson (crosses fingers), and it's definitely a great thing for the TMC. It's just not as different as HP is downtown.

Lets say that a mixed-use retail-driven development were proposed for the Texas Medical Center. If the sheer difference in character is what drove the discussion, you'd expect that it'd generate well in excess of 3,000 posts. After all, compared to downtown, the TMC is considerably more driven by a single use, and while it is cleaner and newer, it is exceptionally uniform in character.

I'd wager that if Houston Pavilions were in the TMC, it'd get much much less attention on HAIF, and I'd attribute that to the downtown fetish that so many of our contributors seem to have.

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If there was a 3-block mixed use project in the TMC, there would definitely be more discussion about it than an additional 10 floors at MD Anderson.

If there were two large mixed use projects, one in the TMC and one Downtown, I agree that the one Downtown would have more attention.

I guess I'm a Downtown fetishist too, now that I think of it, but also a TMC fetishist. :)

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If there was a 3-block mixed use project in the TMC, there would definitely be more discussion about it than an additional 10 floors at MD Anderson.

If there were two large mixed use projects, one in the TMC and one Downtown, I agree that the one Downtown would have more attention.

Well I'm talking in a general sense, Alkek being part of that. Wernicke did say, "most people on the forum kind of disregard all the new TMC buildings under construction," after all.

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I kinda' think that most projects in the Medical center lacks any real interest on this forum simply because few people have little knowledge of what goes on in the medical center. It's sorta' like "infrastructure" it isn't as sexy as HP, DG, DT, Titan, Mosasic, and all the other buildings we've been keeping an eye on.

I'm sure if we had a medical professional that works in the area that has a passing interest in engineering and architecture, we may be able to get more insight and get more involved in these discussions.

For what its worth, I was reading the TMC paper the other day and saw the rendering for the new skway over Fannin to the new TCH building. It looks awesome.

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The thing is...with few exceptions, most folks on this forum are relatively young and not at all cancer-prone...in fact, many of them haven't yet had the opportunity to figure out that they aren't immortal. They don't know much about the cancer treatment process beyond, possibly, what they've picked up second-hand from their older relatives, and even their cancerous relatives don't have the total picture of what is going on behind the scenes as they are being treated.

I'm one of the exceptions! I'm extremely interested in what's going on in the TMC and at MD Anderson. I was a cancer patient there a year ago and they cured me! MD Anderson is one of the absolute finest hospitals with some of the absolute best doctors in the world. We're (especially ME) are EXTREMELY fortunate to have such amazing care at our fingertips here in Houston.

edit: by the way, I'm 29 years old, so I would hope that younger people (yeah, I still consider myself young at 29...) would be aware they they are not immune from cancer. Skin cancer and testicular cancer are especially possible for men in their 20s. I would hope that everybody on here would be aware of that.

Edited by King Owl
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Yea, I was speaking generally about the decreased regard for TMC's building explosion... obviously the Alkek expansion isn't as sexy as HP. But I do think there are some cool things going up in TMC that in a purely architectural sense are more interesting than some of the much discussed minor developments elsewhere. Like Texas Children's new buildings that will have the largest circular skywalk (over Fannin) in the world. Or the new Methodist research facility.

Texas Children's

Methodist Research Center

And in a larger sense, just regarding Houston's perception on the national and international level the TMC developments are more important. I don't think I really appreciated just how huge this aspect of TMC is until I started rotating at MD Anderson (where every other patient is not from Texas). Thousands of patients from all over the world are coming to Houston -- staying, spending their money, looking around. Its a high exposure area.

I definitely agree with The Niche about the demographics of the forum influencing interest. It's understandable... I just think it's interesting to see how little interest this stuff generates with HAIF.

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I've been in the TMC on a daily basis since 2000. The constant progress and construction has just been internalized as normal -- not exceptional in any sense. What would really disturb me is if the cranes disappeared, all the streets and sidewalks were open, and the dumptrucks went missing.

:)

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How are we measuring HAIF-interest? Is it project threads or posts/thread-tmc related? Are there any projects we're missing?

I'm very interested in TMC growth/news. But I think some of the reason not a lot of interest is shown is b/c some of these projects are simply added floors. People like spaces in the skyline to be filled, not just added (while they/we like that, too).

And even though we changed the title of the condo/hotel tower goin up there, I'm still surprised it hasn't received more attention, especially since it's something that's been talked about as a need/want in the TMC area. Plus, it's another step in the direction of what people really crave here for downtown, a liveable dense area. I guess it's just not in the place where people want it; or at least not a first choice.

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But the thing is, unless we work there, few of us have little reason to go there. In fact, quite a few of us avoid the place like the plague, so perhaps that is the reason why there is little interest there.

Maybe people who live in TMC should prompt the rest of us more often as far as the posts go.

I've been surprised that the building that replaced the Mouse House was hardly ever mentioned here. (along with the story behind it).

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This thing is going to be really tall for the TMC. I am thinking it'll be in the top 5 for height. I have a great view of this project from my balcony and I've loved watching it rise the last few months.

What I have really noticed is how TMC really lights up at night. The Pickens Faculty Tower lights up. Two buildings in the Texas Children's complex light up. The new Memorial Hermann has the changing colors feature at night. The new office building on Holcombe has rainbow light sticks on the facade. I am assuming the new Methodist Outpatient Care Center will light up at night too.

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MD Anderson on the one hand is on a hiring freeze and maybe even laying people off, and on the other throwing up not one but two huge buildings. I fail to understand. I know it's complicated and there are lots of things about construction and financing, etc that I'm not privy to, but the average Joe in the street, of which I am one, will look at this situation and be very puzzled.

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I'm not sure if it matters, but the construction of Alkek started way before the hiring freeze. And the Alkek expansion is to make room for more beds so more patients can be treated and that is definitely a good thing in terms of the needs to cancer patients and income for the hospital. Not to mention the fact that it will enable them to hire more employees once the construction is complete and the economy improves.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to MD Anderson Margaret M. Alkek Hospital For Biomedical Research

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