The design objective for the Huntsman Cancer Institute (Phase 1, a research facility completed in 2000) and Huntsman Cancer Research Hospital, which is Phase 2, was to create a warm environment void of commercial or corporate aesthetics. These facilities are designed with leading-edge technology that includes digital mammography, combined PET/CT scanning, radiosurgery radiation, interoperative radiation, and the latest tools for MRI, bone density, ultrasound, and SPECT nuclear medicine.

A three-story, seamless structural glass wall serves as the hospital's entrance and main focal point, which creates a transparent movement from exterior to interior. This dramatic wall was designed to draw patrons' eyes upward as they enter the hospital.

The Research Hospital is designed to be both a terrific ambulatory diagnostic center and inpatient cancer hospital. Layering the inpatient facility on levels four and five and using separate elevator systems allow inpatients to access the diagnostic and treatment components without coming into contact with outpatients using the facility.

Strategies have been implemented to allow future expansions without disrupting the function of the hospital. Shell space has been provided for expansion of additional operating rooms, outpatient clinics, and three shelled radiation vaults. Planning has also been completed for a third research building, 50 additional cancer beds, and space for expanded radiology, infusion, and faculty offices.

Patient and family needs were fundamental drivers in designing this facility. Many features were made available to patients' families, such as lounge facilities, business centers, kitchen facilities, showers, and laundry rooms. A healing garden was designed to allow guests the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment.

Project category: New construction (completed June 2004)

Chief administrator: Steve Prescott, MD, Executive Director, (801) 585-3401

Firm: Architectural Nexus, (801) 924-5000

Design team: Don Finlayson, Principal-in-Charge; Jon Erdmann, Project Architect; David Cassil, Project Designer; Scott Larkin, Health Planner; Michael Costantino, Interior Designer

Photography: ©2004 Dennis Mecham

Total building area (sq. ft.): 319,000 (excluding shell space and parking structure)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $213

Total construction cost (excluding land): $67,900,510