The NYU Clinical Cancer Center is a new 113,000-square-foot outpatient comprehensive cancer center in a new 13-floor facility. The building allows direct access for patients to advanced research facilities, consolidates various multidisciplinary care programs, and results in a higher-quality level of both research and care—all under one roof.

The interior design, aimed at patient comfort, contributes to the building's overall success. Focusing on patient wellness, it borrows from the hospitality industry with its natural finishes and earth-tone palette. The main lobby's treatment is deliberately nonclinical, emphasizing varied materials, color, and lighting. The placement of all reception/waiting areas in the northeast corner of the building offers maximum exposure to natural lighting. Down-lights, wall sconces, and table lamps provide a variety of other light sources in these areas. Textured and patterned materials such as translucent glass partitions, woven-textured wallcoverings, and elegant marble and granite countertops create visual and tactile interest. On each floor, three different color palettes inspired by natural elements subtly infuse the space with a serene quality.

Project category: New construction (completed August 2004)

Chief administrator: James Speyer, MD, Medical Director, (212) 731-5122

Firm: Perkins Eastman, (212) 353-7333

Design team: Mary-Jean Eastman, Design Principal; Frank Gunther, Managing Principal; Alfred Ling, Project Manager; Maureen Carley, Project Designer (Perkins Eastman); James Snyder, AIA, Partner-in-Charge, Medical Planning (Larsen Shein Ginsberg Snyder, LLP)

Photography: Chuck Choi Architectural Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 113,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $398

Total construction cost (excluding land): $45,000,000

As in the rest of the center, maximum patient comfort and privacy drive the interior design of the exam and procedure rooms. The use of warm wood laminates and medium-scaled, tonal geometric patterns throughout brings tranquility and comfort to both patients and staff. Special considerations in the chemotherapy treatment rooms include three distinct, separately controllable light sources: indirect, direct for reading, and high-intensity pin-spot lighting for finding a vein. Shoji-like glass screens provide privacy while allowing daylight to permeate the interior.

A full-service boutique, located adjacent to the Women's Breast Diagnostic Center, provides a tranquil environment, with private dressing rooms where carpet, warm wood, and glass display cases evoke a sense of comfort.

Ambitious programming fits the comprehensive services within the confined, urban site. The center includes radiation oncology, infusion therapy, diagnostic radiology, and a large number of exam and consultation clusters for a variety of specialized cancer care medical staff. Major elements of the new ambulatory care center include screening and diagnostic services; multidisciplinary treatment centers, including women's programs; neuro-oncology, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, lung and head, and hematology; chemotherapy infusion, radiation oncology, and on-site radiation therapy, including three linear accelerators; computed tomography simulation; positron emission tomography; and other chemoradiation therapies.

The vertically stacked building organization is patient-friendly, with full-floor centers for infusion, women's imaging, screening and diagnostics, radiation treatment, and physicians' offices. Despite the constricted site, the design allows for logical circulation, limiting patient contact with service areas without compromising natural transitions between lobby, support spaces, and exam rooms.