Carol G. Simon CANCER CENTER – Morristown, NJ
Project Category - New Construction (completed April 1997)
Facility Contact - Patty Sly, Director of Community and Corporate Health Services, (973) 971-5450
Firm - Watkins Hamilton Ross Architects, (713) 665-5665
Design Team - D. Kirk Hamilton, FAIA, FACHA, Principal-in-Charge; Charles Griffin, AIA, ACHA, Senior Project Manager; Charles D. Cadenhead, AIA, ACHA, Senior Medical Planner; Robert Detamore, AIA, ACHA, Senior Project Architect; Margaret Simmons, ASID, IIDA, Senior Interior Design Manager; and the entire WHR firm
Patient/Bed Capacity - 561 beds
Total Building Area (sq. ft.) - 86,350 (new); 947,302 (total)
Total Land Area (acres) - 25
Total Cost (excluding land) - $21,900,000 (CANCER CENTER only)
The Carol G. Simon CANCER CENTER was a collaborative effort by hospital staff, designers, health consultant and contractor. Faced with a tight budget and an expanding scope of services, the team combined two separately proposed projects-an expansion of the Surgery department and a new CANCER CENTER-into one facility at substantially less cost than the separate totals.
In massing and materials, the CANCER CENTER is integrated unobtrusively with the hospital campus. It is composed of two main elements: a curvilinear entrance and a brick box. A grand stair ascends to the roof garden and plaza, leading to the existing hospital. At once contextual and highly expressive, the entry sequence features a curving, cantilevered canopy that shelters the patient drop-off area. This curve is continued in the grand stair and in the light tower at the plaza entry. The tower contains an elevator and identifies the clinic on the campus.
A bright, inviting lobby is achieved with a glass curtain wall, skylights and warm finishes. The upward-sloping soffit of the canopy allows natural light to penetrate deeply into office areas. Registration areas use warm materials, direct and indirect lighting, and glass to create an open and warm atmosphere. Patient and family waiting areas are multistory and roofed by sloping skylights. Two include mobile art pieces that accentuate the openness of the space. Where possible, garden views are provided from waiting areas. This connection with the seasons is of great importance to patients whose treatment protocol requires regular clinic visits over many months.
Photographic murals are used in the radiation therapy treatment rooms, where the equipment requires thick concrete shielding. The plaza garden provides patients and staff with a place of respite and reflection. It acknowledges the phases of life and the life-enhancing quality of nature.