PROJECT CATEGORY Project in Progress (September 2002)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Harvey Holzberg, President and CEO, (732) 828-3000

FIRM Rothe-Johnson-Fantacone, LLC, (732) 287-3800, ext. 205

DESIGN TEAM Irving Leong, AIA, Project Architect; Thomas A. Fantacone, AIA, Design Principal (Rothe-Johnson-Fantacone, LLC); Collin L. Beers, AIA, Healthcare Designer; Paige Macfarlan, Interior Designer; Cathy L. Maloney, Interior Designer (Granary Associates)

ILLUSTRATIONS Donald Carruthers; Jimm Carroll





When Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) commissioned The Cancer Hospital of New Jersey, its goal was to produce a project that would become a new major anchor for both cancer care and the hospital. A major partner with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, RWJUH aims to provide New Jersey residents with a first-class oncology care program, eliminating the need to travel to the neighboring urban centers of New York and Philadelphia.

Providing a user-friendly environment in the context of a large regional teaching hospital presented a major challenge to the planning and design team. The existing hospital included 10 buildings that had been built over a span of 80+ years. There were six active public entrances fronting on the same street, causing arrival confusion and cross-circulation.

The new building was located on space made available by the demolition of an older building and land purchased from the city of New Brunswick. The design team suggested that additional land be made available to the hospital by annexing a wide expanse of the street right-of-way. As a result, the hospital eliminated a dangerous triangular intersection and provided a traffic light


In the tradition of the grand hotels, visitors enter a classically inspired, two-story rotunda where a concierge greets them. The information desk, main waiting room and circulation to other parts of the hospital are organized around the rotunda. The main lobby walls and information desk are trimmed with a wood-grain finish to create an important, warm and first-class feeling for patients and guests. A gas-fired fireplace in the lobby and sculptural water accents provide an environment of home and spa, putting visitors at ease.

The design of the patient room floors follows the curving façade of the building exterior, yielding interior corridors that gently curve. Exiting the elevator at each level, visitors find an open family-seating area and an educational materials display kiosk. All clinical utility services, such as medical gas outlets and headwall power outlets, are enclosed in wood-grain finished cabinets to keep them out of sight until needed. Likewise, televisions and VCRs are provided in entertainment units above the nurse service counters. Additional touches include personal in-room refrigerators and work desks for patients who might need to stay for longer periods.

All patient rooms were designed with outboard toilets, increasing interior wall area. By providing borrowed lights between the patient rooms and the corridors, patients are able to have an increased view of the corridors and the nursing staff if they choose to keep the interior window shades open. While this reduced potential exterior wall exposure, many patients had previously stated that they preferred the ability to view the corridor side if they chose. Ceiling color changes and bold flooring patterns create a noninstitutional look and feel throughout
Donald carruthers

Jimm carroll

Donald carruthers