Designs for a proposed 70,000-square-foot "short stay"
hospital and medical office building in Garland, Texas were unveiled
December 2003 at the HKS office in Dallas by 19 Texas A&M
University architecture students who collaborated with HKS Inc.
on the project.
HKS Inc., one of the nation's leading architecture firms, worked
with the students to design a facility for the Presbyterian Healthcare
System, and the students' designs were presented along side those
of their professional mentors at the HKS office.
“A real-world project means so much more to the students
than a routine hypothetical homework assignment,” said George
J. Mann, the Ronald L. Skaggs Endowed Professor of Health Facilities
Design at Texas A&M and project director for the studio collaboration
“As a result of working with the highly accomplished architects
at HKS, the students were extremely motivated and their learning
experience was incredibly enhanced,” he said.
The collaboration was initiated last October 2003 when Mann's
studio visited HKS and toured the 17-acre project site for the
Presbyterian Garland Center for Diagnostics and Surgery. HKS had
been commissioned to design the facility for Cambridge Holdings
and the Presbyterian Healthcare System.
HKS Inc. has collaborated on numerous projects with the Texas
A&M College of Architecture since becoming an advisory teaching
firm in 1973.
"It's always satisfying and challenging to work with students.
They are truly the future of our profession," said Ronald
L. Skaggs, chairman of HKS Inc. and creator of the professorship
currently held by Mann. "To have an opportunity to work collaboratively
with one of our best clients on real-world issues is important
to all involved."
After their initial tour of the project site, the students returned
to College Station but remained in contact with the HKS architects
responsible for the Garland hospital design. The HKS team visited
the Texas A&M campus in October to conduct mid-point reviews
of the student projects.
"The students spent the entire afternoon with the HKS architects,
gained further insight into the project's complex design, and
later revised their designs to incorporate the professional input,"
Mann said. "The project has been an excellent example of
cooperation between professional practitioners and their clients
for the benefit of students."
"Working on a professional project in cooperation with a
large architectural firm, a developer, and a client immediately
excited and overwhelmed me all at the same time,” said Lindsay
Gavos, a third-year architecture student from Dallas.
"In every project I do, I find I learn a lot about myself
and even surprise myself as far as what I am capable of doing
along the way. This is by far the most technical project any of
us as third-year undergraduate students have ever taken on,"
she continued, "and the fact that we all stuck with this
project through changes and a number of different variables that
can happen in real life, and still came out in the end with a
design that we can be proud of, is in itself an accomplishment
HKS Architects, Inc. was founded in 1939 by the late Harwood
K. Smith, a 1935 graduate of Texas A&M. The firm, which has
a widely diversified national and international practice, has
designed more than 600 health facilities since 1971.