VergesRome Architects | New Orleans Architectural Firm


VergesRome Architects is working with the Ochsner Health System to expand their existing presence in New Orleans and bring a high-quality healthcare facility to the Lake Terrace neighborhood, in an area that until now has lacked comprehensive healthcare facilities.

The new, three-story, 57,000 sf medical office building will house a medical clinic for full-time obstetrics, pediatrics and internal medicine as well as other vital specialties on a rotating basis. The first floor of the building will also include a full-service imaging center, lab and retail pharmacy.

The 25-acre campus of the LSU Dental School in New Orleans sustained severe flood and wind damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Eighteen buildings, over 500,000 SF, were completely shut down. Basements and first floors housing critical equipment, and first floor dental operatories were flooded. The extended loss of environmental controls exacerbated rampant mold growth extending beyond the height of the floodwaters, requiring thorough environmental testing and extensive remediation throughout the campus.

A multi-phase approach to restoring the Dental School facilities was adopted by the joint venture team of VergesRome Architects and Mathes Brierre Architects. The project management plan, incorporating intense strategic planning and coordination with FEMA, was critical due to the size and complexity of the Project and maintaining full occupancy of the upper floors of the buildings throughout construction. The team worked closely with FEMA, from initial storm damage assessments and Project Worksheet scope alignment, to emergency projects for occupancy within months of the storm, to analysis and design of mitigation method options and dry/wet floodproofing measures for all campus facilities.

A new, raised, two-story Annex Building of approximately 65,000 SF was designed to house operations that previously occupied the basements and first floors of the Administration, Physical Plant, and Clinic Buildings. Affected operations mitigated included Central Sterilization, shipping and receiving operations, public reception and dental care facilities, student teaching/training facilities, and housekeeping facilities. Other facilities destroyed by the flood event, including animal research and care facilities, were also mitigated as part of the $76,000,000 project.

Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville closed their doors in 2012, removing access to mental and behavioral health to the area, and has remained unoccupied since that time. In 2016, after years of research and planning, the St Tammany Parish Government took the next step to turn this facility into Safe Haven, to provide Behavioral Health Services to the community of southeast Louisiana.

The facility strives to decriminalize the ideas of behavioral health and ease the misuse of correctional and emergency facilities to provide the services needed.

Tulane Medical Center decided to build its first Helistop when the need became apparent after the storm and flood events of 2005.  VergesRome Architects worked with Tulane Medical Center to develop five options for rooftop locations.  The final location situated the Helistop atop an eighth-floor rooftop, 120 feet above ground level. The $2 Million Helistop can hold a Black Hawk Helicopter and is used for patient transfer.

The Pediatric Hybrid Cath Lab at Tulane Medical Center was, at the time of completion, one of only about nine such installations in the United States.  The Hybrid Cath Lab enables both catheterization and surgical procedures to be performed at the same time and in the same place. This innovation enhances efficiency of scheduling, as well as patient well-being, by eliminating extra handling, time and transport from procedure room to surgery suite. A Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Room was redesigned and renovated for this new purpose.

Photos ©2010 Jackson Hill

VergesRome Architects provided professional services to facilitate the installation of Tulane Medical Center’s new Lineal Accelerator. Lineal Accelerator technology for treatment of cancer allows the targeting of specific cancer cells so that destruction of healthy cells is minimized.

Philips, manufacturer of the Lineal Accelerator, performed the actual installation.

The new accelerator is installed in one of two concrete radiology vaults that flooded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, destroying all the existing radiology equipment contained within. The project scope entailed renovation of the concrete vault to accept the new equipment, now protected from future flood events by the flood-proofing performed as part of VergesRome Architects’ prior hurricane recovery and mitigation project.

Tulane Medical Center (TMC), the teaching hospital for Tulane University, sustained heavy wind, water intrusion and flood damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, resulting in extended loss of environmental controls and complete destruction of the entire first floor of the facility – a shutdown that created a critical gap in the area’s healthcare infrastructure.

Priority was a speedy rehabilitation and rebuild of the Primary Care Clinic that enabled TMC to provide medical treatment and care for emergency personnel and first responders working on disaster recovery. VRA, in association with Houston-based PageSoutherlandPage (PSP), facilitated emergency repairs, remediation and mitigation necessary to restore the complex to full operation and lessen damage from future storm events.

A Damage Assessment Report defined a scope of work and assessed damage and status of all architectural, mechanical, and electrical systems in approximately 483,000SF of interior space. The first floor, approximately 90,000SF, was redesigned to include new foodservice areas; public and faculty dining areas; outpatient services; re-designed Central Sterile, Pharmacy, Morgue and Central Supply components; Lobby; Lounge; and commercial-use areas. VRA/ PSP also designed and engineered the complete dry flood-proofing of the Central Plant, over 10,000SF in area, protecting from flooding up to six feet in depth.

The design for this 6,000 square foot state-of-the-art dermatological medical office building with clinical spa facilities, located on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, adheres to strict design criteria established by the Lakeview Regional Medical Center Office Park.

Contrasting with the building’s gently pitched, shingled roof and transomed windows, the wraparound entry with fixed glazing and matching doors frames an open, light-filled reception/waiting area.

A stand of trees on the property, set back from the clinic building, is retained for privacy and the scenic view, while also serving as a buffer between clinic/parking and the residential area beyond.

VergesRome Architects designed custom casework to fulfill the operational requirements of the doctors, nurses, and staff, and selected the furnishings for the reception and waiting area.