New Life
for New Orleans

To replace its aging and outdated hospitals, the Medical Center of Louisiana New Orleans (MCLNO) led a master plan for new facilities on 78 acres in downtown New Orleans, now the largest healthcare construction site in the country.

Although MCLNO — which represents the teaching hospitals of the Louisiana State University — had served New Orleans for nearly a century, the design, function and deteriorating condition of its Charity and University Hospitals prevented MCLNO from delivering the highest-quality healthcare. In 2004, the University and the State of Louisiana commissioned a master plan to replace these hospitals with a single, new, state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the LSU campus, and to guide MCLNO’s long-term planning and capital investment.

But in 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded MCLNO’s existing hospitals and the adjacent VA medical center, and NBBJ was requested to update the master plan. In addition to guiding the efficient co-location of the replacement medical centers for both LSU and the VA, the plan also addresses community concerns such as traffic, reduced parking, increased open space, pedestrian gathering places, and the campus’ contribution to the city economy and a new biosciences district.

The updated plan expands the originally proposed MCLNO site — now known as University Medical Center — to 40 acres, enough for a 1.6 million-square-foot complex, including 496 inpatient beds, diagnostic and treatment facilities, a clinic building accommodating 212 exam rooms and supporting parking. An adjacent 30-acre site will house the new 1.7 million-square-foot VA medical center. Both facilities are now complete.