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New School of Medicine Designed for Empathetic Scholars®

CO Architects, Hoefer Welker, and Dunaway To Build in Fort Worth Medical District

Image courtesy of Texas Christian University . Click here for high-resolution images.

FORT WORTH, TX – Texas Christian University’s vision for an innovative medical school is closer to reality with the announcement of its first large-scale, off-campus development for the TCU School of Medicine to be designed by the architectural partnership of CO Architects and Hoefer Welker, along with engineer and landscape architect Dunaway. Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Near Southside District, the medical school offers a curriculum that focuses on the future of medicine, medical knowledge, communication skills, empathy, compassion, and lifelong learning. The design of the TCU School of Medicine building will support the training of excellent physicians who are prepared for the vast advances in medicine and who are patient- and family-centered.


“The TCU School of Medicine is having a truly exponential impact on our community,” said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. “Our Horned Frog medical students are benefitting from an exceptional educational experience, the vast clinical expertise and growing medical industry in our area. The TCU School of Medicine is already contributing to the health of our neighbors and the greater good.”


Construction will begin this year on the four-story, approximately 100,000-square-foot medical education building at the northeast corner of South Henderson and West Rosedale streets. As the initial phase for the new campus, it will be the academic hub for 240 medical students and hundreds of faculty and staff. Completion is planned for the fall semester in 2024, and additional facilities are part of the overall master plan for the campus.


“The building design will reflect the TCU School of Medicine’s pedagogical approach toward medical education,” says Jonathan Kanda, FAIA, Principal at Los Angeles-based CO Architects. “We are inspired by TCU’s vision to create an inclusive and welcoming academic home for its students, faculty, and staff, and a magnet for the greater Fort Worth community.”


TCU School of Medicine opened with a class of 60 students in July 2019. To accommodate TCU’s forward-thinking approach to medical education, the design includes flipped classrooms without lectures and spaces that enable students to partner with physicians from their first day in medical school. This provides students more time to embrace and study the major drivers in the future of medicine, including artificial intelligence, genomics, and technology monitoring patient health and disease.


“This amazing team has been collaborating to deliver a ‘New Kind of Medical School’ for TCU that will benefit learning and training opportunities for students and advance partnerships with hospitals, health care organizations, and biotech industries,” says Travis Leissner, AIA, Associate Principal at Dallas/Fort Worth-based Hoefer Welker.


Working together since the project’s initiation, the building’s design team members are CO Architects (design architect and medical education specialist), Hoefer Welker (architect of record), Dunaway (civil and structural engineer, landscape architect), SSR Inc. (building systems engineer), and Linbeck (construction management).


“We are proud to provide our multi-disciplined services on this significant project,” says Jason Williamson, PE, Chief Operating Officer at Fort Worth-based Dunaway. “Because of our long history with TCU and our experience in Fort Worth’s Medical Innovation District and the Near Southside neighborhood, we understand the profound impact the School of Medicine will have for generations to come.”



About CO Architects

Los Angeles-based CO Architects is nationally recognized for architectural planning, programming, and design in the higher education, science and technology, and healthcare sectors, and works with leading institutions from coast to coast. CO Architects’ specialized expertise includes transformative schools of medicine and health professions, advanced research and teaching laboratories, and innovative clinical facilities on higher education, healthcare, and urban campuses. The firm has been nationally and internationally recognized with more than 195 awards for innovative design and project delivery, including the American Institute of Architects, California Council’s Architecture Firm of the Year Award.


About Hoefer Welker

Founded in 1996, Hoefer Welker is a multidisciplinary architecture, interior design, medical equipment planning, technology consultancy and engineering firm known for collaborating with clients to create performance-driven solutions. From offices in Dallas/Fort Worth, Jacksonville, and Kansas City, the firm works with clients in the healthcare, education, government, civic, multifamily and commercial markets on projects across the U.S.


About Dunaway

Dunaway is a Texas-based professional services firm established in 1956, with offices in Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, Farmersville, Midland, and San Antonio. The firm offers civil and structural engineering, planning and landscape architecture, survey, and construction inspection services to public and private clients throughout Texas, including Cook Children’s Medical Center, TCU, Will Rogers Memorial Center, and the Fort Worth Zoo.


About TCU School of Medicine

The TCU School of Medicine, Fort Worth’s M.D. school, opened with a class of 60 students in July 2019. The new allopathic medical school was formed in 2015. The School of Medicine’s focus on communication, a first-of-its-kind curriculum, and the development of Empathetic Scholars® uniquely positions the organization to radically transform medical education, improving care for future generations. To make this new school possible, the greater North Texas community stepped up to help, providing philanthropic support. The school’s current Founding Donors include Alcon; Amon G. Carter Foundation; Baylor Scott & White; The Burnett Foundation; Cook Children’s; Texas Health Resources; Mr. H. Paul Dorman; Mr. Arnold and Mrs. Harriette Gachman; Dr. John and Mrs. Priscilla Geesbreght; Sid W. Richardson Foundation; Rebecca and Jon Brumley; The Morris Foundation; Martha Sue Parr Trust; Tartaglino Richards Family Foundation; Thomas M., Helen McKee, John P. Ryan Foundation; and anonymous donors.