New Orleans Healthcare Projects: Charity Hospital

New Orleans Healthcare Projects, American medical research building architect, Big Charity ictures

Charity Hospital New Orleans : Louisiana Healthcare Building

Louisiana Hospital Architecture, USA design by RMJM Architects.

Jan 26, 2009

British Architects RMJM Lead on Projects to Restore Healthcare to New Orleans

Design: RMJM Architects

Over three years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, city authorities and government are coming under increasing criticism for alleged lack of action in rebuilding the devastated city.

Charity Hospital New Orleans:
New Orleans Healthcare Projects: Charity Hospital
Big Charity image from RMJM

Charity Hospital Building

Notable figures have expressed their support for urgency in pushing forward the restoration programme, from President Barack Obama who has stated that this will be a priority, to actor Brad Pitt, who has just presented new affordable, storm-resistant houses to homeowners, designed to encourage people back to the city.

Now, as the UK-based international architectural practice RMJM today (26 January 2009) announced details of its work on three of the biggest medical and healthcare projects in the city, it appears that this might be one sector to show imminent improvement.

Charity Hospital New Orleans
Big Charity image from RMJM

Official data suggests that there are now 25% fewer hospitals in New Orleans than before Hurricane Katrina and there are less than 2 beds per 1000 residents, as compared to over 3 beds before the storm.

With commissions from the Tulane University’s School of Medicine, the Louisiana Cancer Research Center and Charity Hospital – the oldest and most notable hospital in the USA – RMJM is playing a central role in helping New Orleans to realise its ambition of becoming a centre of excellence in the provision of healthcare facilities and medical research.

These projects will not only address residents’ acute need for quality healthcare but will also boost investment in medical research which could help reinvigorate New Orleans’ economy which has struggled since 2005.

Charity Hospital (above), known locally as Big Charity as it had served the poor for over 250 years and which was the oldest operating hospital in the USA until it closed after being flooded in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, is now the focus of the most significant healthcare proposal in the city. Founded in 1736 by Huey Long who was Louisiana Governor at that time and the proponent of the radically populist “Share the Wealth” programme of social reform, it is a powerful symbol of healthcare for the people of Louisiana.

RMJM was appointed by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana to examine and evaluate the entire Big Charity structure to determine whether the facility could be restructured or repaired. The findings showed that the historic Art Deco building can not only be saved but also has the potential to be transformed into a state-of-the-art medical facility. Louisiana Senator David Vitter has voiced his support for the RMJM proposals which have been put forward and it is hoped that a funding package will soon be settled to enable the transformation to take place.

RMJM is also redesigning the Louisiana Cancer Research Center in New Orleans to take account of new building codes for flooding. RMJM was originally engaged to design the research centre in 2004 as part of a collective initiative by Tulane, Louisiana State and Xavier Universities. Upon completion, the 166,000 square foot building will include flexible research space, office space and support laboratories for 72 principal researchers and their teams.

Finally, RMJM is working on a ten-year masterplan for the School of Medicine, Life Sciences and Engineering as part of Tulane University’s renewal plan – which will enhance the presence of the medical school and help it to attract the best scientists and students from around the world to work and learn in New Orleans.

RMJM CEO, Peter Morrison, said: “With three major healthcare developments in close proximity to each other, New Orleans has the potential to become a centre of excellence for medical teaching and research, at the same time as caring for its population. We’re proud to be part of the rebuilding and rebirth of one of America’s most fascinating and colourful cities.”

New Orleans Healthcare Projects information received 260109

New Orleans Healthcare Projects design : RMJM Architects

Location: New Orleans, LA, USA

Architecture in USA

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Charity Hospital New Orleans
Charity Hospital New Orleans
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New Orleans Houses, Lower Ninth Ward
Design: Graftlab
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New Orleans Healthcare Projects architect : RMJM Hillier

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