The new University Medical Center New Orleans is restoring much-needed medical services, helping rejuvenate downtown New Orleans, and bringing together research and quality care in a state-of-the-art facility equipped to withstand a variety of natural disasters.

The new hospital replaces the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, which closed after sustaining serious flood damage during Hurricane Katrina. Located on Canal Street in the Mid-City neighborhood, the 448-bed medical center is the cornerstone of an expanding medical district that will attract the world’s top medical professionals while delivering high-quality care and advanced research. As the only Level One Trauma Center in Southeast Louisiana, the new medical center serves as an important referral center for both severely injured patients and community hospitals throughout the region.

Featuring the most advanced technology available, diagnostic and treatment areas encompass a wide range of services focused on creating healing environments that support patients and their families. In addition to the inpatient services and trauma care, the center hosts a cancer program including radiation therapy and a chemotherapy clinic, outpatient surgery, outpatient imaging and rehabilitation services. Treatment areas are designed to maximize collaboration with the adjacent Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System medical center by creating efficiencies through the location of adjacent diagnostic services and parallel outpatient services.

Site Location

Located next to the new Veteran Administration Hospital, the Louisiana State University Health Science Center, and the Tulane Medical Center, University Medical Center is situated as the hub of an expanding medical district on the edge of the central business district in New Orleans.

Designing for Disaster Mitigation

Given the area’s vulnerability to catastrophic flooding, the core concept that drove the design was rooted in the client mandate that no critical hospital functions occur at grade level. The ground floor was relegated to public and office functions and all mission-critical components, including the emergency department, are located at least 21 feet above base flood elevation. Also, design technology and emergency power will allow the hospital to operate after a category 3 hurricane for up to a week with virtually no outside support or supplies.

Awards and Publications


AIA/AAH Healthcare Design Award
AIA Gulf States Region, Merit Award
AIA Louisiana, Merit Award
AIA New Orleans, Honor Award
Building Better Healthcare Awards, International Design, Highly Commended
Healthcare Design, Merit Award Finalist
IIDA Healthcare Interior Design Competition, Best Community/Academic/Teaching Hospital
IIDA Northern Pacific Chapter INawards, INhealthcare
Society of British and International Design (SBID) International Design Excellence Awards, Healthcare Design


Architectural Record, “After the Storm: Architects create a healing environment for post-Katrina New Orleans,” July 1, 2016
Healthcare Design, “New Orleans Hospitals Adapt And Overcome,” October 7, 2015
The Times-Picayune, “Almost a decade after Katrina, New Orleans finally has a new teaching hospital,” August 5, 2015
Architectural Record, “New Orleans Goes with the Flow: Ten years after Katrina, the city learns to live with water,” July 16, 2015
The Times-Picayune, “Look inside the new $1.1 billion University Medical Center, opening Aug. 1,” June 17, 2015
The Washington Times, “Public gets sneak preview of new $1B New Orleans hospital,” June 17, 2015