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Merit Award - DESIGN

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Kelsey Seybold Clinic Main Campus
Houston, TX

SWA Group

William Callaway, FASLA
President, SWA Group
580 Broadway, Suite 200
Houston, TX 92651
Tel. 713-868-1676;
Fax 713-868-7409

Project Purpose

Requirements: Kelsey Seybold lacked a clinical presence in the Texas Medical Center area of Houston and needed a main campus to house their varied health care resources and corporate offices all under one roof.

Scope: Phase One program for a 250,000 square foot clinic building and related 1275 parking spaces (structured and surface), and the ability to add a future separate 50,000 square foot corporate building and an additional 175,000 square foot ambulatory care facility with related parking.

Philosophy: "A Place for Healing" - The two-acre public open space, parking areas and walkways are all designed to allow for the interaction of patients, family and friends, doctors and caregivers within the natural environment. "The Restorative Properties of Nature" - Shaded bosques, streamside walks, seating, flowering Redbuds, and meadows refer to the Texas landscape. "Convenience and Clarity" - Clear site access and orientation. "Order, Simplicity and Light" -Emphasis on the ordered arrangement of natural landscape elements to communicate wellness and uplift the spirit.

Intent: Kelsey Seybold was committed to not only pursuing its objectives of excellent and convenient health care but also to providing a public open space that would be a destination for neighboring residents and a landmark in the community.

Role of the Landscape Architect

The Architect was selected through a limited design competition. They in turn selected the Landscape Architect to lead the site planning and site design effort including schematic design through construction phase services for all elements of the site. In addition, the Landscape Architect took an active lead in the civil aspects of the project including parking and drives, grading and drainage, as well as creative solutions for required detention.

Special Factors

When the Landscape Architect was first brought on board, the solution for required on-site detention was to store runoff below surface parking in a 12' x 12' box culvert that would be 1000 feet long, with a price tag of $1,000,000. With a $2,500,000 total budget for site development, little would remain to accomplish anything of significance in the landscape. Working collaboratively with the Architect and Civil Engineer, the Landscape Architect designed a two-acre public open space to store this detained water. The box culvert, now reduced in half, captures the first 50% of a 100-year storm event. If that level is exceeded, detained water is then stored within the public open space, turning a significant detention requirement into an asset to the community. The $500,000 saved was then reinvested in the landscape, resulting in a highly finished, beautiful campus setting.


The Kelsey Seybold Clinic Main Campus has:

  • Artfully expressed the philosophy of excellence and convenience in health care;
  • In establishing Kelsey Seybold as the pre-eminent health care facility of its kind, the project has set a standard for investment in the wellness of its immediate community through the dedication and development of public open space;
  • Improved the lives of its patients, doctors, caregivers and staff through interaction with the natural environment;
  • Improved Kelsey Seybold's ability to attract and retain the best and brightest.
  • Opened minds about the creative use of storm water detention in making beautiful environments for people.



2001 Award Winners
Press Release
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