There Will Be No Tours of the Death Star, and Other Details About the Hospital in the Belly of the Memorial Hermann Tower

Hospital executive Adam Lane tells the Houston Business Journal‘s Jennifer Dawson that the easiest patients to move into the new Memorial Hermann Tower on I-10 will be . . . the babies, “because they don’t know where they’re going.”

Also, it sounds like some of the interiors might prove a little disorienting for suburban kids:

A hospital floor dedicated to children has been elaborately designed as a town center. The hallway is made to look like a street with curbs, grass and storefronts.

Fortunately, more familiar surroundings will be nearby: the building is connected by skybridge to the Memorial City Mall.


Patients will be moved into the belly of the new building from Memorial Hermann’s adjacent North Tower this coming weekend. A new “massive robotic medication system,” will be installed a few days earlier — accompanied by heavy security. The hospital includes 18 private rooms for birthing babies.

The hospital will occupy only floors 2 through 7 of the 30-plus-story building at Gessner and I-10. Five full floors above that will remain empty for now. Doctors’ offices are on floors 13 through 24; Memorial Hermann system offices will occupy the building’s shoulders, on floors 25, 26, and 27.

What’s going to go on in that spiky head office? We can’t tell you. The top 6 floors belong to MetroNational, the building’s owner. Reports Dawson:

The secretive Houston-based developer will not reveal what goes on up there.

Photo: Jay Lee

35 Comment

  • That building is quite ugly. Maybe it is to scare away sickness and germs.

  • It is now , the new Transco tower. BW8 is the new 610. Up-up-town?

  • Definitely NOT the new Transco. I understand that you mean the center of Houston is shifting again, but architecturally, Transco was elegant while this looks like…..uh, well, uh… grandmother thinks it’s ugly. ’nuff said.

  • yeah its ugly, but its a tall building, way west, without any other high rises around. hell, barely any mid rises near, 3-4? it stands out and is visual reference point now

  • Did anybody else see the new crown lighting this weekend? New pulsing lights, neon, shafts of light into the sky… I think someone plugged their iPod into the lighting system. Either that, or one of the UFOs from “Close Encounters” landed on the building.

  • It could be worse. The crown could rotate, or dance.

    Does anyone know who/what firm created this thing? I’d like to think they might develop some better taste, or alternatively we can laugh at them, or scorn them at the next AIA, RDA dinner.

  • Pulsing neon lights for passers-by….sounds dangerous! but makes sense. Yes, PLEASE look 40 stories up while you’re speeding down the highway. Gotta attract attention and generate new business!

  • The top belongs on a circular building. Don’t you think that they got this all wrong? I think Ugly Betty is filmed in there.

  • It reminds me of the top of the building in Ghostbusters after the Gozer the Gozerian goes berserk.

  • The design can’t possibly be that bad. People are talking about it. When was the last time anybody remarked on the designs of Energy Tower III or Energy Crossing II?

  • And tonight the light shafts are red and green… looks like Ninfas leased out the top floor.

  • ^Red and Green. Christmas? no. Mexico? no. Italy? no. NINFA’s is the first that comes to mind with those colors. Now thats a Houstonian.

  • Morris does loads of work for MetroNational, so I suspect they are the culprits here. This building would receive a C- at best in any sophomore design studio.

    It is also worth checking out the condo building they have going up east of Gessner. Another head scratcher…

    And this in an era when so much interesting Architecture has been produced around the country….sigh

  • I thought the crown was somewhat reminiscent of the Wonkavator from the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory…had to have a golden ticket to go on THAT secret tour, so who knows, maybe in time MetroNational will offer something similar?

  • From Crowner:

    yeah its ugly, but its a tall building, way west, without any other high rises around. hell, barely any mid rises near, 3-4? it stands out and is visual reference point now
    There are 5 midrise buildings close by, and two more under construction (one, the Cemex building was just completed). As bizarre as Memorial Hermann is, it seems to be part and parcel with the gradual densification of the Memorial City area. There are 3 midrise office buildings at Gessner and Barryknoll, a midrise hospital building on Gessner (just south of the Memorial herman office), a new hotel going up beside the Mem Hermann office, the new Cemex building on Gaylord, and new midrise apartments on Gayloard right next to the Cemex building.

  • Holy cr@p! Is that a fully functional death star? Will it vaporize toll lane interlopers?

  • HA HA HA, I am glad to see all of you talking about this building, that is all we wanted to accomplish. You should have seen it when the glass shoulders were on it, but of course this is the output of VE efforts. So continue to look and enjoy!

  • i worked nearby when they were building that top out (it’s poured-in-place reinforced concrete). i thought at first it might be a landing pad for a helicopter. but then they glazed it all in. it looks like a router bit now.

  • “The design can’t possibly be that bad. People are talking about it. When was the last time anybody remarked on the designs of Energy Tower III or Energy Crossing II?”

    That’s because those are bland buildings. Nobody ever comments on bland architecture, only on really bad or on really good architecture. You be the judge on which category this falls into.

  • I feel that “really good” or “really bad” doesn’t matter a bit.
    If it’s twitter-worthy it has cred.

  • Andres, what I’m getting at is that if a building is not noteworthy, then aesthetically-speaking, it may as well not exist. The vast majority of structures are not noteworthy.
    The old addage goes that 85% of success is just showing up. With respect to this subject, though, I think it’s closer to 97%.

  • john said: And tonight the light shafts are red and green… looks like Ninfas leased out the top floor.
    omg i can NOT drive by that bldg now w/o thinking NINFAS.

  • All this smug negativity! I think it is different and I like looking at it. I bet most of the comments are from small-minded design people who work in and design one story buildings. Have any of YOUR buildings gotten any press lately?

  • Just because someone thinks that a building is ugly does not mean that they are small minded and you don’t have to have designed a building to have an opinion.

    …and “Smug Negativity”?….ok, that’s kinda accurate, but I am entitled to my smug negativity.

  • My husband insists they got the building design idea from the movie “Batman Forever.” DH even cued the clip for me to watch and… OMG! As if the building weren’t ugly enough already, now I can’t look at that light polluting eyesore without a sniggering giggle. Are we all destined to look at it and turn into mindless idiots? If you get a package in the mail from Metro National, don’t open it. :-)

  • The January Memorial City TIRZ #17 meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2009, in the HEB Community Room (NW corner Bunker Hill at IH-10 West) beginning at 7:30 A.M. If you missed the October meeting, you missed At-Large Councilmember Jolanda Jones taking on the TIRZ’s attorney and the TIRZ Chairman re a legal issue. In November, you would have heard board member Ken Arnold describe the wager he’s proposed to the honorable councilwoman. The December meeting was cancelled. Darn. This is good stuff. Be there! It’s your tax dollars at work. See for the posted agenda.

  • looks like a big chessboard piece.

  • Could this be an air traffic control tower for getting the Chemtrail plane patterns accurately placed in skies… for desired weather pattern chemical fallouts… aluminum oxide, barium oxide and ethylene dibromide… very harmful to us.

    No one is allowed to go to these top five floors all owned by MetroNational Bank (who own the whole building plus more). The rest of the floors 28 and under are doctors offices and hospital. I thought that was a bit odd.

    It just looks so much like an air traffic control tower… but with no airport near-by… then one must ask…”what in the air.. are they controlling… if not planes landing?” Possibly Chemtrials floating?

    I invite any comments. Please research Chemtrails first. I am not a conspiracy theory person nor do I believe in UFO’s, ghosts, or morgellans disease.

  • @CLD,

    If you are not a conspiracy theorist, then I don’t know what one is.

    I also can’t tell what you want us to research. Is it Chemtrails or Chemtrials?

  • Hi iLackTact,

    Actually I was starting to feel like one… but after researching it and seeing more evidence than I need to convince me… I realized this is real! All I ask is that people do the research like I did.. And…

    “LOOK UP!” (every day)

    Commercial Airlines “contrails” (condensation trails) dissipate in seconds and are harmless (after ice crystals melt they disappear) and leave no white cloud like trail behind. Look up and see the difference… the difference between normal Contrails… and Chemtrails. Chemtrails do not dissipate but last all day. They turn a blue sky into cloudy skies. BUT WHY???

    Chemtrails (not contrails) aka STRATOSPHERIC AEROSOL GEOENGINEERING are being sprayed worldwide! WHY? And by WHO?
    Do the research…

    In Germany…

    In Oakland Washington…

    Evidence in foreign countries …

    Who are THEY?… And WHY are they spraying us???

    NWO (New World Order) linked to United Nations linked to Informal Agenda Group (a secret committee set up by Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The group was comprised of interlay CFR members Council on Foreign Relations). United Nations was the creation of the CFR.

    Carroll Quigley author of “Our Tragedy and Their Hope” wrote: “I know of the operations of this network, because I studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, to examine its papers and secret records.” He describes their ultimate goal… “…to create a world system of financial control in private hands, able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.”

    Ex-CFR member Admiral Chester Ward became one of it’s chief critics. According to Ward the CFR’s goal is… “the submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all powerful, one-world government.” The dangers of a NWO is the removal of the checks and balances within a properly balanced government… to rule independently and fairly over it’s people. The NWO would cause the nations to submit to their fascist socialist mindset. In reality it is governed by these smaller groups which control the United Nations.

    The unnatural spraying of chemical and biological components over global skies is in fact funded and released from this NWO group. It is a way to not only control the population (causes various sicknesses and death) but also to control crop output. By the way because of the Chemtrials our pollenating bees have pretty much disappeared. Einstein said that if the pollenating bees disappeared in the world… we would have about 4 years left. Large farms (fruit & vegetable) would see small crops if any… thus causing worldwide famine. There would be some crops… but not enough.

    The variety of biological and chemical elements such as chaff containing aluminum and barium is very damaging to the environment… plant, animal and human life.

    In short… this elite group is playing God… from the skies. Some of the sprays contain elements with Psychosomatic compounds (such as aluminum) which cause people to be forgetful, moody and angry for no good reason. Why? Good Question. We know that for some unruly powers… they must first create chaos and disorder… in order for there to be a need for them. And what is the key word they promote… before their (UN) (NWO) take over … “CHANGE!!!”. The poor confused souls blindly accept the total UN power forces as there Savior… but in the end it will bite them like a snake… Who is that snake… Ephesians 2:2 refers to Satan as the “ruler of the authority of the air.” Or in some translations as “Prince of the air.”

    Here is the video on the NWO…

    These are the end times. Where do we go from here… especially spiritually!!! Here is an excellent website.

    Dive in to God’s Word. Know that HE is real. He is God. And no other! God IS our only Hope!

    Much hope and love in Jesus Christ always.
    “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge him,
    and he shall direct thy paths.”
    Proverbs 3:5-6 (King James Version)

    These are good too:

  • Disregard my previous blog… I can’t prove anything I said… so I appologize. I probably did sound like a conspiracy theorist. I hope the builders of the building forgive and forget what I said. Sorry.

  • Wow CLD, you had me going! You ought to be in marketing.

  • Well… at least I am willing to eat humble pie… especially if I can’t prove anything. The only thing I said that was true was the last part…the scripture part… that is always true… All things will pass away but the Word of God will never pass away.

    I needed to repent… if I am a Christian… I need to give everybody the benefit of the doubt… instead of rejoicing in evil and jumping to conclusions which may not be true.

    I need to be more like Christ.

    It’s hard to eat humble pie… but after I do… I feel much better. I think the Holy Spirit was convicting me about that.

    I will try to think well of everyone… and when they give me reason to think otherwise… I will try to forgive them and pray for them… just as I would want them to do for me… if the roles where reversed. I have made my share of mistakes too. We all have.

    Thank goodness we have a God that forgives when we ask for forgiveness. 1st John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    Take Care,

  • Stayed at Memorial Hermann hospital this past October. My room was across from the Death Star. Oddly, I was in such a frump that to gaze up and see the lights was actually a delight. Remember I was in a really bad way. Yeah, maybe I drank the cool-aid…. but it was pretty.. whilst under the influence of morphine anyway.

    A nurse told me that the “Death Star or Crown” architecture was actually a colossal representation of the engagement ring the guy gave his wife. I have heard other staff agree. Was even told that it is told to employees on “Culture Day”.
    Hey, Ihelpeddothis….. any confirmation or more info?

    Side bar: What in the world did the guy do to merit building a “ring” like that? Also, cant remember if “the Guy” was the desinger, owner etc.

  • Drug addled conspiracy theorists, such expert opinions.