Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's: The Denton A. Cooley Building


Marek Location
Project Location
Houston, TX
Project Sector
Morris Architects
General Contractor

Project Scope:
This 10-story 327,000 SF facility contains one floor for offices, 12 operation rooms, 3 patient care floors, a 350 seat auditorium, two floors dedicated to research, and a transplant floor. It is designed for four primary purposes—patient care, basic research, education, and clinical treatment.

Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's—the Denton A. Cooley Building—presents a spectacular combination of light and space. The Cooley Building is, in a word, impressive. This setting raises the standard of state of the art in research, education and patient care. Technologically, this is designed to be an "intelligent" building. Communication and collaboration have no boundaries here. Twelve operating rooms (OR) and the recovery unit are located on the second floor. The average OR is about 400 square feet whereas these ORs are more than 650 square feet. The spaciousness is enhanced by a ceiling structure which supports specialized technical equipment and monitors as needed. This design helps immensely to reduce crowding of machinery and remove cables and other wiring from the floor. The only equipment that remains on the floor in these ORs is the perfusion unit. Operating rooms 3 and 4 have domed ceilings for observation. All the ORs have a panel of block glass imbedded near the top of the walls to provide natural light and create a feeling of more spaciousness for the surgical teams.

The third floor, the John O’Quinn Pavilion, is the location of the Heart and Lung Treatment and Transplant Center, an out-patient clinic that focuses on patients with transplants, heart assist devices and heart failure. Residents and Fellows of the Texas Heart Institute have their office and lounge areas on this floor, with plenty of data ports for research or network connectivity. It also contains the building's electrical, mechanical and phone systems—well above flood level.

On the fifth floor is the conference room named in honor of Gerald A. Maley. The fifth floor is also the base of the 4-story Ansary Atrium, where families as well as staff can retreat and relax year round. A dramatic waterwall sculpture at one end of the atrium provides a soothing background for the casual seating which lines the glass window walls. Patient rooms on the east side of the building overlook the atrium. Floors six through eight are dedicated to patient care. The sixth floor is targeted for interventional care; the seventh floor is for progressive care; and the eighth floor is for transplant patients.However, patient needs and care demands fluctuate frequently, so all these patient rooms are designed for efficiency of use and flexibility.

The ninth and tenth floors of the Cooley Building are devoted completely to basic scientific research and are designed to promote collaboration among the scientists and physicians who will work there. The ninth floor has been leased by the University of Texas System for cardiovascular research. The tenth floor comprises key focus areas of basic research at the Texas Heart Institute. These labs were specifically designed, constructed and equipped for highly specialized study of gene therapy, vulnerable plaque, molecular biology and heart failure.