NIH Clinical Center

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Clinical Center
National Institutes of Health

FOR RELEASE: March 6, 1996
Contact: Colleen Henrichsen
(301) 496-2563

Design team selected for new clinical research facility at NIH

An architectural firm has been selected to design and spearhead planning for a new clinical research facility at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, the research hospital serving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, a 180-person architectural, planning, and interior design firm based in Portland, Oregon, will oversee the project to add a new 250-bed hospital and laboratories to the Clinical Center, currently a 43-year-old, 350-bed facility with a 13-story ambulatory care wing.

The project will increase opportunities for physicians and patients to participate in the nation's top tier of clinical research.

"Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership was selected based on flexibility of design, integration of the facility with the campus landscape, and adaptability for the future," said Dr. John I. Gallin, Clinical Center director. "The design team will devote the next year to determining exactly what is needed and wanted in the new facility. Preparation of design and construction documents will take about three years, and construction will take another three years."

When the original Clinical Center core was built, Dr. Gallin added, long-term hospitalizations were required for most clinical research protocols. "Today, fewer patients require long hospitalizations and more research studies are handled in the outpatient setting. The new clinical research facility, with fewer beds and new day-hospital capabilities, will be the crucial link in rapidly moving biomedical findings in the laboratory into the mainstream of medical practice."

NIH selected a private-sector developer, Boston Properties, Inc., last August to oversee project design, construction, and management. "The private developer will add efficiencies to project development and execution," Dr. Gallin said. Representatives from NIH; Boston Properties; and experts from both the government and the private sector comprised the selection committee for the design team. As part of the selection process, six design teams were invited to participate in an international design-concept competition in 1995 to demonstrate creativity and technical ability.

Working as consultants to Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership will be NBBJ, a Seattle architectural firm noted as specialists in planning health-care facilities; Earl Walls Associates and McLellan and Copenhagen, Inc., California firms with expertise in lab planning; and Metcalf Tobey Davis of Reston, Va., who will provide local coordination.

Last Modified on 4/15/96

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