design thinkers

SLAM and Baylor College of Medicine Reveal Design for the Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower

Design by SLAM. Video by ARSlonga. 

The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) and the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) unveil plans for the development of the new Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower Health Sciences Tower (HST) and campus for education and research, securing its place as one of the nation’s leaders in the discovery and advancement of medical breakthroughs. At 503,000 SF and 11 floors, it will be one of the largest medical education buildings in the nation and one of the most technically sophisticated School of Medicine and School of Health Professions facilities in the country.

“Eighty years ago, medical knowledge doubled every 50 years. Today, it doubles every four months which is what makes designing these facilities such challenging and fascinating design opportunities,” says SLAM Principal Robert Pulito, AIA.  “We wanted to create an architecture that will adapt with the advancement of knowledge and new technologies; that instills a discipline for life-long learning; and gives students the opportunity to participate in research that transforms clinical care and witness its impact on our communities.”

The new tower embraces the site’s physical context and the iconic architecture of the original Cullen building while also projecting a new progressive image and vision of the future. The fluid form of the tower reflects the confluence of clinical care, research, and medical education.

“To really change the future of health, we need a space that facilitates the future,” said Baylor President, CEO and Executive Dean Dr. Paul Klotman. “We need to have a great building to recruit great talent. Having a place where our clinical programs are located, where our data scientists are, next to a biotech development center, and having our medical students all integrated into that environment will allow them to be ready in the future for where healthcare is going.”

Design Program

An expansive glass entrance atrium invites visitors in with views of the lushly planted floating courtyard, which is the village green, a central community gathering space for students, faculty, researchers and clinicians. It sweeps up and into the ribs of the tower in an arching shaped form that engages and connects education, research, and administration.  It is the social heart of this new campus.

The lower three levels contain a broad array of classrooms, study, and social spaces which provide opportunities for students to connect and support each other. The middle levels are dedicated to research, positioned between the student-centered classroom floors at the base of the building and the immersive instructional labs on the upper floors. Research spaces are designed to maximize discovery while making the work conducted there visible and accessible to students encouraging their engagement in research.

The upper levels are dedicated to immersive learning environments. This includes an array of simulated surgery and skills labs and a standardized patient suite with 30 exam rooms powered with the most advanced technologies. This 35,000-SF simulation center provides students with an interprofessional learning experience enabling them to build the skills and the confidence in themselves and their partner professionals that is essential to be successful in today’s team-based healthcare practice.

The Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower Health Sciences Tower is scheduled to open in 2026.

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