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HIDDEN GEM: Museo Institute for Medical Arts

"We wanted to create something special in the Museum District," said Dr. Michael Mann.

HOUSTON — You could call it a sight for sore eyes. Or weak eyes. Or itchy eyes. Patients at the Mann Eye Institute get to enjoy a spectacular view of downtown Houston before and after their appointments in the institute’s new office. 

"We wanted to create something special in the Museum District," said Dr. Michael Mann.  

It was his vision that led to the creation of Museo Institute for Medical Arts

"Mike told me, ‘I don’t want a building. I want a piece of art,'" said Marko Dasigenis, principal at PJMD Architects.

The result blends art and architecture, as well as the visual and healing arts.

"Everything that is the combination of the light with the colors with the textures and the overall architecture is really meant to uplift," Dasigenis explained.

The building, which is brand new and state-of-the-art, takes its inspiration from thousands of years ago.

"We used classical Greece as inspiration, not only to develop the architecture, but also we infused it with artwork," said Dasigenis.

That artwork includes a 23-ton replica of the famed Winged Victory.

"This is one of two replicas that were done in connection with the Louvre," Dasigenis shared.

He added that the replica is carved out of a single solid piece of Thasian marble, based on a 3D scan provided by the Louvre. It took three months of fine precision work by an expert sculptor at the Greek quarry of FHL Kiriakidis, in Northern Greece, to complete the painstakingly detailed statue.

The other replica is on the Greek island of Samothrace, where the original sculpture was discovered.

"A very unique piece of art," said Dasigenis.

Unique is how you could describe the lobby’s terrazzo floor.

"The pattern was inspired by classic Greek patterns in the islands of Cyclades in the Aegean. They would usually use the waves to create a border like that," Dasigenis said. "Here, to celebrate the great work that Dr. Mann is doing, we took the shape of the eye and recreated the same pattern, making reference to the Mann Eye Institute."

Dr. Mann says he finds art calming and healing, which is why he filled the building with so much of it.

"When you walk in from the garage, you’ll see different artworks," he said. "When you walk into the lobby, here it looks more like a museum than a medical building."

Museo is home to more than just the Mann Eye Institute. It offers 153,000 square feet of Class AA medical office space, some of which is still available for lease. It also offers a training room with a working kitchen.

"Education is a big part of what we do, so we have a facility for that with a terrace outside," said Dr. Mann.

You can learn more about Museo here.

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