The word “pavilion” is derived from the Latin root papilio, which means “butterfly.” In keeping with the concept of a garden pavilion, the facility includes a butterfly garden as a signature feature. A portico reminiscent of the columned porches throughout Savannah defines an arc-shaped terrace and butterfly garden. The portico supports a trellis wing, which mimics the shape of the garden below and casts its shadow on the east-facing glass wall. Embossed on the glass wall is the original plan of Savannah's park squares.

The Cancer Pavilion's design consists of two wings: one clinical and treatment, and the other research and administration. On the ground floor, a transparent, two-story glass entry lobby ties together the two wings of the pavilion and opens to a therapeutic labyrinth garden framed by a grove of trees that glows in the evening with landscape lighting from beneath the canopy of the trees. An evergreen hedge surrounding the pavilion shields it from adjacent neighborhoods. Storm-water areas with required depressions create sculptured “rain garden” landforms with a variety of plants. The landscaping extends out into the parking area with overarching oaks that shade new, smaller flowering trees in a collection of “parking gardens” interspersed within the parking area.

Ample glazing accents the design's exterior and allows natural sunlight to flow into the building. The glazing and the circulation along the exterior wall serve to reinforce a healing environment by visually linking the interior lobby waiting and treatment areas to the series of exterior landscaped gardens. With architectural elements designed to circulate patients and staff around the central lobby, the walkways link the multiple medical offices, technology areas, and education sections. As patients suffering from breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies visit the facility, they may undergo radiation oncology and outpatient infusion treatment, visit with their specialist and surgeon, and gain knowledge and support from counselors, social workers, and educational resources at the Cancer Pavilion


New technologic advancements promote early detection and cures, and multiple physician groups specializing in surgery, gynecologic oncology, and radiation and medical oncology practice in the new facility. The pavilion is beginning to serve as the focus for an overall cancer program, which has at its foundation the development of organ site teams dedicated to providing best-practice approaches. This approach extends throughout the continuum of care, from education and prevention through follow-up and end-of-life care.

The restorative, healing functions of the pavilion's exterior environment complement the clinical care given within its interior. Similarly, the facility's parklike landscape is an addition to Savannah's garden sensibility.

Project category: New construction (completed January 2006)

Chief administrator: Peter Schenk, Vice-President Administration, (912) 819-6144

Firm: Perkins+Will, (404) 873-2300

Design team: John Hogshead, Principal-in-Charge; Jimmy Smith, Lead Designer; Thomas Pederson, Project Architect; David Sheehan, Interior Designer

Photography: Nick Merrick, Hedrich Blessing

Total building area (sq. ft.): 50,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $480

Total construction cost (excluding land): $24,000,000