Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center [Basking Ridge, NJ]
Project category: New construction (completed August 2006)
Chief administrator: Abe Lopman, Executive Director, Regional Care Network, (212) 639-8238
Firm: EwingCole, (215) 625-4104
Design team: Andrew Jarvis, AIA, LEED AP, Principal; Oscar Gomes, PE, Project Manager; John Chase, AIA, Lead Architectural Designer; Charles Rudderow, Project Architect; Gayle Lane, NCIDQ, Interior Designer
Photography: Barry Halkin; Jeffrey Totaro
Total building area (sq. ft.): 202,600
Construction cost/sq. ft.: $216
Total construction cost (excluding land): $43,663,631
Because nearly 20% of this facility's patients are New Jersey residents facing an arduous commute to Manhattan, the site in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, was selected to bring premier cancer education, research, and care to patients outside New York City. The architects embraced Sloan-Kettering's devotion to quality care and based all design decisions, from site planning to interior design, on enhancing the patient experience.
The two-phase project provides a 127,100-sq.-ft. center with plans for an additional expansion. The center houses chemotherapy, therapeutic radiology, outpatient surgery, diagnostic surgery, cancer prevention, and educational programming in an environment that promotes patient well-being at all levels. The design also supports Sloan-Kettering's community outreach.
Located on 25 acres of wooded land, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center opted to develop only seven acres of the site, a decision that exceeds green space requirements. This siting also increases views to nature, which many cancer patients find comforting. The building itself is located at the eastern edge of the site and is surrounded by woods on three sides. An alley of maple trees and lush foliage creates a garden entryway for patients as they approach the entrance.
Unlike other medical centers where parking lots surround the building, this site has the convenience of a 75,500-sq.-ft., three-level garage, with two levels located below ground to reduce site clutter. Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the design team worked closely with the Township Planning Commission to make zoning adjustments for parking. The final plan reduces visible parking spaces and increases on-site vegetation.
The curved form of the building differentiates it from typical office or hospital facilities. It creates a softer look that is complemented by natural, familiar materials such as red brick and rosy sandstone accents. A glass canopy at the entrance follows the building's sinuous curve.
Windows throughout the Care Center flood interior spaces with light. Even clinical spaces, such as those housing MRI equipment, offer daylight and views to nature. The interior color palette pulls earthy hues from nature, similar to the exterior color scheme. Warm colors were carefully selected to minimize unfavorable color associations for patients. All surfaces touched by a patient are made from natural, not synthetic, products. Generous views of nature, living creatures, and art are provided throughout. This design challenges the typical medical environment and works to improve the patient experience from start to finish.