The client's request was twofold: update their campus master plan and add a new, 220,000-gross-square-foot, state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility. This addition was to be seamlessly integrated into the existing hospital in terms of function and aesthetics—while providing a new entrance to the main hospital; creating a separate entrance to the new cancer center; and creating a dynamic community presence in a life-affirming, healing environment focused on the patient/user.

The addition was set within an existing 60-year-old campus of boxy buildings constructed of beige brick, clear aluminum, and gray glass, and bounded by a major city thoroughfare to the east, existing hospital buildings to the south and west, and the existing ambulatory building to the north.

The master plan shows two phases, combining the new cancer treatment facility (phase 1) with a 200,000-gross-square-foot replacement inpatient tower and new entrance/central atrium space (phase 2) that will connect the main entrance of the hospital to the main city thoroughfare to the east. The central circulation spine was extended to the north, connecting the existing inpatient facilities, proposed facilities, and the existing outpatient facility together, giving the hospital maximum flexibility and efficiency. The new hos-pital entrance will be located on axis with the approaching road where park-ing is located to the west and will be framed by the existing hospital and the new towers to the north, exposing the main circulation spine on either side.

The cancer treatment facility is composed of a large, 10-story tower of sweeping bars of brick and glass, anchored by a 2-story plinth of earth and water. The massing is bold and monumental, matching the existing hospital while adding new delicate, transparent elements that enliven the existing aesthetic without detracting from it. The first two levels contain ambulatory treatment facilities, extending and integrating services with the existing hospital. The tower contains conference, administrative, outpatient care, and inpatient care facilities for the treatment of cancer. The entrance is located to the north and is enveloped by a landscaped, earth-sculptured mass around the main drive.

Project category: New construction (completed January 2003)

Chief administrator: Clarence H. Brown III, MD, President & CEO, (321) 841-1846

Firm: RLF, Inc., (407) 647-1039

Design team: Ronald Lowry, Senior VP; Sanford Cohn, Project Manager; Steven Langston, Director of Design; Kendall Mason, VP, Electrical Engineering; Debra Sellers, Director of Interior Design

Photography: © Raymond Martinot

Total building area (GSF): 220,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $240

Total cost (excluding land): $62,000,000


The project features two 3-story interior atriums, which will provide natural light and views up into the garden for both visitors and patients. The chapel will straddle the two atriums and look down into both. The grand stairs, along with a series of landscaped terraces, will reach down from the garden to the main thoroughfare, welcoming the city while softening the building mass and the presence of the radiation treatment vaults concealed below.