PHOTO TOUR: West Cancer Center
The three-story atrium becomes a key wayfinding element, helping patients orient themselves within the building.
Through contrasting materiality and prominent visibility, the check-in counter is a clear destination for patients.
A large rotating sculpture depicting a flock of birds was commissioned for the atrium. A feature both monumental and meditative, it serves as a dramatic and uplifting focal point for the project.
Simple things like aligning circulation with natural light helps wayfinding and lowers anxiety levels.
A view from the third floor shows how most of the waiting areas overlook the atrium.
The roof garden provides a variety of seating options for patients and their families, with canopies to mitigate the Tennessee sun and noble materials that soften and contrast with the more institutional feel of the interior.
A change of materiality in the outdoor spaces provides a release from the institutional aesthetics of the inside and underlines the experience of “outside”.
The West Cancer Center is the product of a 2012 partnership between the West Clinic, Methodist Healthcare and the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center. Together, they assemble specialists in patient care and cancer research, providing patients access to all of them under one roof. This multidisciplinary approach also provides researchers and clinicians the opportunity to develop new drug therapies and protocols in the context of a multilateral strategy to tackle cancer.
The East Campus location, in Memphis, Tenn., opened for patients in December 2015 and is approximately 123,000 square feet in total. This includes renovations to 100,000 square feet of an existing medical office building constructed in 2000 (designed by brg3s) plus an addition of 23,000 square feet.
The most dominating feature of the architecture is the original three-story atrium, which serves as the main public space and wayfinding solution. The check-in counter and several waiting areas look down into the atrium, and the organization of other programmatic elements around this naturally lit space make this complex facility still read like a single practice. Original art, including the large rotating flock-of-birds sculpture, is utilized throughout the atrium. The natural light washes the sculpture from above to add color and texture, and it serves to help reduce anxiety levels of patients and caregivers.
Patient services are organized by levels: Diagnostic services and radiation oncology are located on the ground floor. Clinics are located on the second level. The 65-station infusion suite is located on the third level with access to the roof garden and outdoor panoramas for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Project source list
Completion date: December 2015
Owner: West Clinic/Methodist Healthcare/University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Total building area: 123,000 square feet (100,000-square-foot existing shell and 23,000 square-foot addition)
Total construction cost: $21 million
Cost/sq. ft.: $170/sq.ft.
Architecture: Brg3s Architects
Interior design: Brg3s Architects and Methodist Healthcare
Contracting: Flintco LLC
Engineering: Allen & Hoshall (civil, mechanical, electrical), Innovative Engineering Services (plumbing), Tom Robison & Associates (structural), Kersey/Wike Associates (landscape design), Self+Tucker (architectural support),
Specialty Consulting: Oncology Solutions
Construction: Flintco LLC
Doors/locks/hardware: Delta Door & Hardware
Ceiling systems: Armstrong Acoustical Panels
Handrails/wall guards: CS Acrovyn