Health & Science

New Texas Medical Center Campus Will Have Plenty Of Connectivity And Green Space

The TMC3 will aim to become a world-leading hub for biomedical research.

If you think connectivity and green space are paramount elements of the 21st century work and life philosophy, you probably will like the design of the Texas Medical Center's upcoming new campus, also known as the TMC3.

The TMC3's founding institutions are: Texas Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The project was announced last April at an event with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, then Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, as well as executives from the five founding institutions.

The TMC3 will aim to become a world-leading hub for biomedical research, biotechnology and bioscience. The five institutions announced the master plan this week. The three companies that will make the project a reality are the architecture firm Elkus Manfredi, development company Transwestern, and the Vaughn construction firm.

A study forecasts the TMC3's potential impact on Houston's economy and workforce will drive $5.2 billion into the local economy and create nearly 30,000 jobs, according to the Texas Medical Center.

The main, shared building at the center of the campus will be known as the TMC3 Collaborative. With a budget of $250 million, the upper floors will house shared institutional research space and industry partner facilities. The downstairs atrium will host lectures and other events.

The campus will cover 37 acres south of the Texas Medical Center, which is located southwest of downtown Houston.

One of the TMC3's main features will be a DNA chain-shaped promenade with green spaces that will be connected through a street grid. The design allows access for drivers and pedestrians, including visitors.

David Manfredi, CEO of Elkus Manfredi Architects, said the design will accomplish two important goals. First, the DNA-shaped strand will be an instantly recognizable and iconic image associated with the Texas Medical Center. In addition, the green spaces could be used for different purposes such as music and art performances, as well as hosting sports like volleyball or basketball.

One of the main ideas behind the TMC3 is to combine individual research by its founding institutions and collaboration between them. The new campus will have individual lab buildings and mixed-use space on the ground floor.

There will also be leasing, retail and residential space, along with a hotel and conference center, and underground parking.

"We want the researchers, we want the industry people and we want the students. This is the place to make those connections," said Manfredi.

Texas Medical Center CEO and President William McKeon has been involved in the project since the beginning and is convinced the dynamic design is crucial to attract top professionals. "Researchers and clinicians today are not looking to be in tall buildings filled with labs. They want to be in an environment that really embraces this “Live, Work, Play” environment," he told News 88.7.

McKeon said the collaboration mindset will also help to get federal funding because the National Institutes of Health now tends to reward multi-institution research with larger grants.

Ground breaking for the TMC3 is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2020 with a projected completion in 2022.

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