One of the largest public hospitals in the nation, and the largest public healthcare project in the country ever to be built in one phase, the new Parkland Hospital was a $1.3 billion investment in the greater Dallas area. Originally built in 1954, the facility had become severely overcrowded and functionally outdated by the turn of the new century. The ambitious healthcare project has become an expression of hope for the future health of the community. This AIA award-winning, LEED Gold certified building doubles the size of the old facility. It incorporates the most advanced design features to serve the needs of practitioners, patients and visitors. And it features a remarkable design adorned by more than 4.5 acres of ALPOLIC metal composite materials.
Seamless collaboration propelled the project forward. Leading architectural firm Corgan partnered with renowned healthcare designers at HDR to take on the momentous undertaking. Nate DeVore, project architect for Corgan, describes, “It was a huge win for our firm and for HDR, and for the city of Dallas.” Ground was broken on the project in 2010, and the first patients were transferred from the old facility to the new one in the summer of 2015. Design and construction were done through a “fast-track” alliance between HDR+Corgan and BARA, a joint venture of Balfour Beatty Construction, Austin Commercial, H.J. Russell and Azteca Enterprises. Fast-track projects can be stressful, especially with so many contractors involved, but DeVore says, “The team worked together so seamlessly, it was really nice. I can’t say enough good things about those guys.”
MCM Details That Elevate a Sleek Design
As a complement to the extensive glazing, the hospital features almost 200,000 square feet of ALPOLIC®/fr metal composite material (MCM), in an NFPA 285-compliant fire-resistant wall system. The material was fabricated by NOW Specialties using their NOW 3100 route-and-return dry system. It's a gasketed design that requires virtually no maintenance - an important consideration in a 50-year building.
ALPOLIC MCM is also used in awnings and soffits as large as 200 by 200 feet and as high as the 10th floor, as well as in mullions and other details. DeVore is particularly proud of the way these details structure the experience of the building. “The whole idea of the glass and ACM was to keep this minimalist, sleek, clean design,” he explains. “It's a simple palette across the building, but we did little tricks to it to separate it from most other minimalist profiles.”
The new Parkland provides a 2.8 million-square-foot campus that houses state-of-the-art clinical facilities plus 862 single-patient rooms with private bathrooms and plenty of space for visitors. Among many features that contribute to a calm, healing stay are the abundant natural lighting, verdant wellness gardens and a unique hallway and elevator layout that keeps noisy clinical and housekeeping activities “off stage,” leaving patient areas calm and uncongested.
The exterior has been described as resembling two skyscrapers tipped over on their side and intersecting each other in an “L” formation. The acute care tower features a seven-story “panhandle” section that cantilevers over a second 10-story tower that houses the WISH: the women, infant and specialty hospital. DeVore explains that the design, “allows for natural daylight to get down into the NICU rooms below.”
It also opens up the flat surfaces of the building to provide an intriguing sense of dimensionality. The effect is heightened by a gradient of hues on the glass curtainwall that range from dark gray at the bottom to white at the top of the acute care building – giving the upper stories an almost weightless look as the structure rises from a massive base of native Texas limestone.
More glass is used to enclose the expansive lobby, with etching that forms a mural of deciduous trees in winter on one side and summer on the other – symbolizing growth and renewal with the passage of time. A closer look reveals that the tree branches are made up of the names of thousands of private donors who contributed to the project.
The Perfect Color, Perfectly Consistent
Choosing the ideal MCM color to complement the stone, concrete and the dramatic color gradient of the curtain wall glazing proved to be a challenge. The architects evaluated hundreds of samples before landing on PEX Pewter Metallic, an ALPOLIC standard color with a 20-year finish warranty. Incorporating a metallic base coat that DeVore says “sort of makes it shimmer and also helps to hide dirt.”
This project required about 6,500 panels in total and despite the sheer size of the project, Edgar Sanchez, who oversaw the project fabrication for NOW Specialties, recalls, “There were no problems with delivery, and the color match was phenomenal.” For optimum color consistency, it’s recommended to order metallic finishes like PEX in one batch for the entire job, or at least for any one elevation. Sanchez was thrilled that although this project required three batches, “We didn’t have any variations between batch one, two and three. We know in the industry, with a metallic color, you need to isolate that depending on the number of shipments and so on, but this was perfect.”
That level of consistency, performance and delivery is no surprise to DeVore. “ALPOLIC materials are in our master spec for a reason,” he says. “We trust them and we have a history with them. There are other products out there, but we’ve used ALPOLIC® materials in the past on several large products, and we know they can deliver. And it’s always a great look, a great outcome.”
Renowned for their quality and appearance, ALPOLIC metal composite materials are a top choice for architectural projects, especially hospital design. A perfect fit for heavy-use buildings like medical facilities, the diverse range of shapes and colors make MCM panels aesthetically desirable, allowing healthcare facilities to provide their patients and visitors with a more comfortable environment.
Explore the possibilities with ALPOLIC and order your free samples today.