Houston’s Museo Institute for Medical Arts connects Western art with modern medicine

Here’s what happened when a Houston eye doctor decided in the early 2000s that he was going to get into real estate and build an office tower that would rise 10 stories and include medical tenants, museum-style artwork and perfect views of downtown Houston.

This 153,000-square-foot building eventually materialized as the Museo Institute for Medical Arts on 5115 Fannin St. in Houston’s Museum District. The building, with a modern blue-green glass exterior and a large, brightly lit lobby with ancient sculptures and abstract art, was designed by PJMD Architects and Huitt-Zollars Inc. The ground floor of the building features fountain-themed landscaping.

Replica of the Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture in the main lobby of the Museo Institute of Medical Arts. (CoStar)

The Museo Institute for Medical Arts is the first of two phases of a mixed-use project that aims to combine art, science and culture. It is the vision of Dr. Mike Mann and includes several artworks on display in the first floor lobby, including a replica of the Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture that is in the Louvre in Paris. It is one of the most famous sculptures on display in the most visited museum in the world and represents Nike, the goddess of victory.

Fountain artwork and themed landscaping were incorporated throughout the ground floor and lobby to help patients feel comfortable as they headed to their healthcare appointments upstairs.

“It’s a medical building, so I wanted a facility where people could walk in and feel uplifted by a doctor coming in. I can’t tell you how many times I have personally been afraid to go to the doctor. We spent a lot of time [thinking about how] The space, light and color of the building can be enhanced,” Mann said in a statement.

Mann Eye Institute’s waiting area featuring spectacular views of downtown Houston. (CoStar)

After visitors pass the sculptures and other artwork in the lobby and reach the elevator, they will likely head to one of the building’s three tenants: Mann Eye Institute, Texas Laparoscopic Consultants and Houston Cardiovascular Associates.

The Mann Eye Institute occupies the entire 10th floor and anchors the Museo Institute for Medical Arts, where optometry and ophthalmology patients can enjoy views of downtown Houston from the waiting area. The Eye Institute was previously in a building across the street from 5115 Fannin.

The seventh floor has a classroom reserved for professional learning and an outdoor patio overlooking part of the Museum District and downtown Houston.

The terrace on the seventh floor. (Quy Tran)

Mann, who specialized in ophthalmology and opened his own eye surgery practice in 1977, assembled a development team to make the 10-story glass-themed tower a reality. The Museo Institute for Medical Arts has access to the MetroRail Red Line and is close to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical district in the world.

Mann calls the building, home to one of 17 locations in Houston and Austin for the Mann Eye Institute, a “temple of healing.”

“It was built to be a beautiful structure that is a bridge between the visual arts — we’re in the museum district — and the healing arts,” he added in a statement.

Dr. Man

Dr. Mike Mann makes remarks about the Museo Institute of Medical Arts at an event in September. (Quy Tran)

This first phase focuses on developing space for medical offices and special surgical applications, according to a spokesman for the Museo Institute for Medical Arts, who added that details of the second phase are not yet available.

Testa Rossa Properties developed the Museo Institute for Medical Arts with PJMD Architects designing the building and Huitt-Zollars Inc. serving as the architect of record. CBRE is handling the leasing of the building.


Building Name: Museum Institute of Medical Arts
Building size:153,000 square feet
Occupation: 60%
Key Tenants: Texas Laparoscopic Consultants (10,255 square feet), Houston Cardiovascular Associates (40,000 square feet), Mann Eye Institute (39,000 square feet)
Opening date: 2021
Main contractor: Mission Construction
Building architect: Huitt-Zollars Inc. (Architect of Record), PJMD Architects (Design)

Each of the distinctive buildings has its own history. Snapshots is a random feature showing one of them.

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