This 500,000-square-foot Comprehensive Cancer Center contains radiation therapy, infusion therapy, inpatient beds, research facilities, operating rooms, recovery and surgical intensive care beds, and ancillary support services. The hospital's previous Oncology Center saw the number of new cancer patients triple during its 16-year existence, creating a need for a more expansive facility. The resulting project focused not only on advanced technology, but also on patient- and family-centered care.

Early in the design process, seven guiding principles were developed by key user groups as objective criteria for evaluating every aspect of the project:

(1) Departmental adjacencies are based on a logical and efficient flow of people and materials. Patients and families move about the perimeter of a central support core, while service staff and materials are contained centrally. (2) Medical services are separated by level, allowing simple and direct signage and wayfinding. (3) Two large entry atriums serve as orienting devices. Featuring skylights and steel trusses, these two inviting lobbies contain both reception areas and family waiting rooms. They are flexible enough to be used for larger staff gatherings during evening hours. (4) The identities of spaces are reinforced with themes and visual cues. For example, family waiting spaces have vaulted ceilings, and public elevators feature plaster surrounds with limestone wainscots.

This makes the large facility feel less intimidating. (5) To address cost, maintenance and durability issues, standard materials were used. The exterior is composed of ground-face block, brick and precast concrete. Interior finishes are terrazzo or vinyl for floors, wallboard or plaster for walls, and wallboard or acoustical tiles for ceilings. (6) User needs are reflected in details, such as optimal sizes for inpatient rooms. Flexibility is designed into nursing units by limiting vertical shafts to the inner service core. (7) The interior design enhances the building's personality with open, inviting public areas and secure, restful private spaces. The interior color scheme is intentionally neutral and low key to soothe and foster a healing environment

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PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction (completed September 2000)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Martin D. Abeloff, MD, (410) 502-1033

FIRM Odell Associates, Inc., (704) 414-1796

DESIGN TEAM Whiting-Turner; PWI Engineering; Gantt-Huberman; Source Atlantic

PHOTOGRAPHY Tim L. Buchman

BED CAPACITY 160

TOTAL BUILDING AREA (SQ. FT.) 500,000

TOTAL LAND AREA (ACRES) 2

TOTAL COST (EXCLUDING LAND) $100,000,000