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Rust Medical Center


Project Name

Rust Medical Center


2400 Unser Blvd SE


Project Status


Year Completed



460,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost



Presbyterian Healthcare Services

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Project Description

This new medical center is a major expansion in the Albuquerque metro area for Presbyterian Medical Services, the largest private, not for profit health care system in New Mexico. Initial work included the development of a long range master plan for the 60+ acre site. For phased construction, the hospital is designed as “plug and play” with the Patient Towers sited separately from the Diagnosis/Treatment floors rather than stacked vertically. Using the latest evidence based principles and lean processes, the medical center meets the client’s goals for innovation and change to meet the current national healthcare initiative, ‘Patient Centered Care.’ A major focus of the design is to solve a chronic problem in hospitals–the minimal amount of patient face time provided by nurses due to their need to “fetch” supplies, medicine and equipment. With distance from patient room to these resources a major factor, we analyzed nurse travel distances with alternative plan solutions arriving at a de-centralized or, as we say, re-centralized nurse station with the various resources duplicated and located near each four bed pod of rooms. The plan diagram and resulting floor plan shown here reduces nurse walking distances by over 180 miles per year.

Other innovative features: all patient rooms are acuity adaptable to an ICU level for long term flexibility; bathrooms are located between rooms allowing for spacious, simple rooms with expansive views and abundant natural light, and space for family overnight stay--all evidence based strategies to augment healing and reduce length of stay, the goal of every hospital.

With shading to mitigate harsh solar exposures the fenestration takes advantage of dramatic mountain views in all directions. The earthtone colored material palette of burnished, varied module masonry, stucco, and metal skin continues the client’s system wide standards as developed by D/P/S.
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