A two-story addition to Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca is home to its Radiation Medicine Center, offering state-of-the-art radiation therapy treatments for regional cancer patients. Operating with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, it is equipped with high-speed technologies enabling synchronous collaboration.

A strategic location with a new exterior entrance optimizes patient access to the new center, as well as to an existing imaging department for CT scan simulations, a physicians' office building, and the main hospital.

The facility entrance flows into a spacious atrium that encloses the reception area and waiting room. A wall of glass leads the eye into a four-season external garden, while the interior focal point is a two-story waterfall. These features combined with an interior design palette of warm colors create a soothing environment for patients waiting for their treatment.

The incorporation of natural images, sounds, and objects provides calming distractions at a difficult time for patients during radiation therapy, allowing for treatment in a comfortable and dignified environment.

An easy-to-navigate racetrack floor plan leads to changing rooms, a subwaiting room, and a radiation therapy room. The main treatment room has controlled lighting and is paneled in hardwood, with natural imagery positioned over the treatment table.

A major challenge of this project was that the addition be completed on a tight schedule, concurrent with planning a major expansion to the existing 300,000-square-foot hospital. The first patients were treated in January 2005, 18 months after project inception.

Project category: Addition (completed January 2005)

Chief administrator: Robert Mackenzie, MD, President and CEO, (607) 274-4011

Firm: HOLT Architects, PC, (607) 273-7600

Design team: Grace N. Chiang, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Paul Levesque II, Project Manager; Gary Myers, AIA, Project Architect; Miles Cigolle, AIA, Architect; Peter Forlano, ASID, Interior Designer

Photography: Tom Watson Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 6,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not released

Total construction cost (excluding land): Not released