New Life
for New Orleans

To replace its aging and outdated hospitals, Louisiana State University (LSU) led a master plan for new facilities on 78 acres in downtown New Orleans, now the largest healthcare construction site in the country.

Although LSU’s Charity and University Hospitals had served New Orleans for nearly a century, their design, function and deteriorating condition prevented LSU from delivering the highest-quality healthcare. In 2004, the University and the State of Louisiana commissioned a master plan to replace these hospitals with a single, new, state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the LSU campus, and to guide LSU’s long-term planning and capital investment.

But in 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded LSU’s existing hospitals and the adjacent VA medical center, and NBBJ was requested to update the master plan. In addition to guiding the efficient co-location of the replacement medical centers for both LSU and the VA, the plan also addresses community concerns such as traffic, reduced parking, increased open space, pedestrian gathering places, and the campus’ contribution to the city economy and a new biosciences district.

The updated plan expands the originally proposed LSU site to 40 acres, enough for a 1.6 million-square-foot complex, including 496 inpatient beds, diagnostic and treatment facilities, a clinic building accommodating 212 exam rooms and supporting parking. An adjacent 30-acre site will house the new 1.7 million-square-foot VA medical center. Both facilities are currently under construction.