By Cannon Design Buffalo, NY
The Lawrence and Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center was crafted to improve both the patient's and family's experiences during the long process of cancer treatment. The desire of Detroit Medical Center was to create a convenient, comfortable environment in which cancer patients could receive care. The solution envisioned the creation of a warm, comfortable “healing lodge.” This expression is familiar to the lodges located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a frequent relaxation destination for people in the area.
PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction (completed September 2001)
CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Jeffrey Forman, MD, Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology, (313) 745-2593
FIRM Cannon Design, (716) 773-6800
DESIGN TEAM Michael Pukszta, James N. Walsh, George Z. Nikolajevich (Cannon Design); Kent Johnson, AIA, President, (TMP Architecture); Michael Dehart, PE, President, (Wolf Wineman)
PHOTOGRAPHY © Beth Singer; © Laszlo Regos Photography
BED CAPACITY N/A
TOTAL BUILDING AREA (SQ. FT.) 18,100
TOTAL LAND AREA (ACRES) 5
TOTAL COST (EXCLUDING LAND) Not released
The natural stone, one-story building is nestled on a heavily wooded site articulated to create the feeling of a small resort. The use of natural stone, copper and exposed wood beams creates a warm, comfortable environment where every space is flooded with natural light and the sounds of a soothing waterfall.
Great care was taken to challenge existing preconceptions of patient environments and focus on delivering treatment in the most elegant and dignified way possible. Gone are awkward-feeling gowned waiting rooms in favor of individual dressing suites. Large, open chemotherapy wards were replaced with private infusion bays, complete with video, audio and individual heating controls. Infusion bays and family spaces are organized around and with views of an uplifting exterior healing garden. Patients and their families are encouraged to explore the gardens and outdoor spaces before and even during treatment.
There is also a family lounge featuring a stone-and-wood fireplace, game table and homelike furnishings; a reading room with Internet access; an art gallery; and private consultation and conference rooms for education and complementary medicine.
The project was primarily funded through private donations from former cancer patients wanting to create a better environment for the community