The Hillman Cancer Center is UPMC's flagship treatment and research facility, home to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute's research. Patient care and research are integrated in one location, maximizing the opportunity to translate research findings into effective new therapies.

The resultant design was a building that responded to several demands: placing unrelated activities—research and treatment—under one roof, creating a comfortable neutral zone, appropriately siting the structure, and relating to the scale of the existing hospital complex.

Cladding the ground floor in limestone gave it a classical base. Upper floors complement the architecture of the adjacent buildings. The top of the building is accentuated with a contemporary aluminum cornice.

One finds on entering the signature element a multistory atrium that is the crossroads of the building. Spirits' Flight, a sculpture, highlights the connection between art and healing. The atrium allows natural light to penetrate more than half of the building, providing a more pleasant, comfortable, and spiritually stimulating environment.

The Research Pavilion was designed to maximize collaboration among investigators. The ratio of usable area to building gross area was maximized through flexible lab design. Careful design of adjacencies and the incorporation of office areas help to achieve an impressive 73% net-to-gross efficiency by minimizing the number of corridors, creating large open labs, and maximizing the number of occupants per lab.

The head of the National Cancer Institute said, “This center epitomizes a new hope for cancer patients,” calling it “a model” ranked “right at the top.”

Project category: New construction (completed October 2002)

Chief administrator: Ronald Herberman, MD, Director, Hillman Cancer Center, (412) 623-3205

Firm: IKM Incorporated, (412) 281-1337

Design team: Mihai Marcu, AIA, President and CEO, Project Executive; Alan L. Fishman, AIA, NCARB, Principal-in-Charge; Robert Moro, AIA, Design Principal; Roger Hartung, AIA, Project Manager; Thomas Hartman, RA, Laboratory Designer

Photography: Edward Massery Photography; Craig Thompson Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 452,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $230

Total construction cost (excluding land): $104,000,000