Project category: Conversion (completed March 2006)

Chief administrator: Joseph Weiner, Director, Facility Development, (516) 734-3037

Firm: EwingCole, (215) 625-4104

Design team: Andrew Jarvis, AIA, LEED AP, Principal/Planner; Richard Esslinger, PE, Project Manager; John Chase, AIA, Lead Architectural Designer; Kimberly O'Dowd, LEED AP, Project Architect; Mary Alcaraz, PE, LEED AP, Electrical Engineer/Lighting Designer

Photography: Barry Halkin

Total building area (sq. ft.): 37,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $324

Total construction cost (excluding land): $12,000,000

Located on the original site of the United Nations world headquarters in Lake Success, New York, the North Shore LIJ Health System's Center for Advanced Medicine is a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility.

North Shore LIJ Health System's decision to consolidate the hospital's physician practice groups and ambulatory care services on a single campus allowed for growth of inpatient services at the system's 18 hospital campuses. The Center for Advanced Medicine houses services for academic medical practices, outpatient surgery, outpatient cancer care, radiology, urology, women's health, primary care, and other specialty practices.

The Monter Cancer Center, part of the Center for Advanced Medicine, features 32 private chemotherapy treatment stations, 23 exam and consultation rooms, an indoor garden, and a patient education center.

The design focuses on a 1/8-mile-long “Main Street” along the perimeter. Main Street is accessible by car for drop off, and its three major points of entrance help orient visitors. Once on Main Street, there are multiple entrances similar to a shopping mall, a familiar environment for most patients.

Trees planted along Main Street connect patients to nature. Architects were sensitive to the reduced immune systems of chemotherapy patients, realizing that overexposure to bacteria carried in plants and soil can be harmful. Plants are submerged in one foot of black river pebbles, a natural substance, to shield patients from soil. Plants are irrigated from within and have tropical supplemental lighting.

Daylight has been proven to be a healing advantage. Light monitors create a grid to which the building spaces were programmed to maximize access to daylight at the appropriate places. The infusion area is designed as a garden, the wood-slat ceiling mimics trellises, and linoleum suggests a garden pattern. The exam and office areas are designed as a village, with a network of doors and alleys, like a neighborhood of intersections. The design uses greens and blues that are clinically proven to reduce people's sense of the passage of time.

As an adaptive reuse project, the Monter Cancer Center was constructed within a former industrial building. The facility was originally built in 1940 with long-span, high-bay spaces including natural-light monitors, providing daylight to the interior. The original building exterior was upgraded to provide an energy-efficient envelope in addition to new mechanical, electrical, and life-safety systems.