WHR Architects Donates Its Services for Nora’s Home

10/30/2012 | WHR Architects

Houston, TX — Members of WHR Architects joined Dr. A. Osama Gaber MD, FACS and Dr. Lillian Gaber, members of the Nora’s Gift Foundation and representatives from The Methodist Hospital for the groundbreaking ceremony for Nora’s Home on October 29, 2012. The new facility, which will offer transplant patients and their families an affordable, home-like place to stay, will be the first of its kind in Houston and the Gulf Coast region.

Located near the Texas Medical Center, Nora’s Home is designed as a freestanding, 11,400 square foot house that will feature 16 private bedrooms and baths, a fully equipped kitchen, a great room, a chapel, a community room and an education center.

“It has been an inspiration to work with the Nora’s Home team,” said Bill Ganshirt AIA, ACHA, who is leading the effort for WHR. “While we work most often on larger scale, complex medical facilities, we understand that this home is a critical addition to the bigger healthcare picture. Providing a comfortable, affordable place for families to stay while supporting a transplant patient contributes to the health and well-being of all involved.”

“This project is not a house — it’s a home,” said Dr. Gaber. “We wanted this space to have the same sort of warm feeling you’d have in a home. It wasn’t about having waiting rooms and sleeping rooms; it was about having a homelike feeling. This is what families and transplant patients really needed. And WHR has been with us since the first sketch. It changed Nora’s Home from an idea to something people can really see.”

In 1998 Dr. Gaber and his wife Dr. Lillian Gaber established Nora’s Gift Foundation in memory of their daughter Nora, who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Nora’s legacy did not end with her death. Her organ donations helped several critically ill children and inspired the creations of Nora’s Home. The building of the new facility comes at a time of significant growth in transplant programs. In the last ten years, over 7,400 solid organ transplants have been performed at six Texas Medical Center transplant centers with a third of those patients traveling from outside Texas.

“Giving back to the community is a part of the WHR culture,” adds David H. Watkins, FAIA, chairman and founding principal of WHR Architects. “Our involvement with Nora’s Home — from an early donation to the design of the building — has been a gift to us as well. We look forward to seeing the home welcome transplant families next year.”

Other local firms that donated their time on the project include structural and civil engineers Walter P Moore and MEP engineers AEI Affiliated Engineers.

Learn more about WHR Architects online at www.whrarchitects.com or by following @whrarchitects on Twitter. Learn more about Nora's Home online at www.norashome.org or by following @norashome on Twitter.