The only program of its kind in the Midwest — medically based and dedicated solely to the treatment of eating disorders — the Melrose Institute is an important addition to the region’s healthcare community. Designed by Ellerbe Becket, an AECOM Company, the new building consolidates the services of the former Park Nicollet Eating Disorders Institute, and provides inpatient, outpatient and residential care.

Park Nicollet is a long-time proponent of using Lean methodologies to improve healthcare quality and efficiency. For this project, Lean processes were used to analyze the flow of the existing practice, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and eliminate unnecessary waste. The outcome was development of a new model of care for eating disorders, which in turn shaped the building’s planning and design.

A notable aspect of this project is its connection to nature, including views toward a neighboring nature preserve and special therapeutic healing gardens. For a project in such a lovely natural setting, incorporating natural and sustainable materials and design principles was of great importance to both the client and the design team. Patient families and staff alike have said that the Melrose Institute “is the perfect setting for the treatment of eating disorders.”


  • 2010  AIA Minneapolis Merit Award
  • 2009  Citation of Merit, Behavioral Healthcare Design Showcase
  • 2009  “Architecture and Design Honor Roll,” Minnesota Physician Magazine
  • 2008  Best in Real Estate Award – Healthcare, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal