UT Medical Center - Heart Hospital

In 2009, BarberMcMurry designed a four-story specialized Heart Hospital for the University of Tennessee Medical Center — creating a distinctive and welcoming “front door” to the hospital campus. By 2016, the facility had reached capacity, but the constrained hospital site limited growth options. BarberMcMurry designed a vertical expansion that would house two cardio/pulmonary acute care floors, totaling 60 beds, plus a neurological intensive care unit and shell floors for future expansions. 

The vertical expansion adds five stories and 132,600 additional square feet to the existing building, but maintains the original building’s aesthetic. The project was quickly but carefully completed in phases to allow the Heart Hospital to remain fully operational during construction.  

The expansion also houses a neurocritical care unit. Since light sensitivity is such an important consideration for these patients, the interior design took extra care with light fixtures. There are no fixtures directly above patient beds, and fixtures are offset in the corridors so the light distribution is even. Soothing, neutral colors and soft blues and greens create a calming atmosphere that separates this floor from others in the Heart Hospital.

Completion Date: 2018

Type: New Construction, Addition/Renovation

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Building Area: 260,000 SF (Original + Vertical Expansion)

Services: Architecture, Interior Design

Use: Healthcare


  • 2010 Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchid Award
  • 2009 Healthcare Design Magazine Project Showcase

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