The original 68,000-square-foot Cancer Institute was a collaborative effort among seven University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Affiliated Hospitals, combining outpatient clinical care and cancer research. In less than five years, it was designated as a National Cancer Institute and had more than doubled its volume in clinical care and research grants.

The challenge for the Cancer Institute project team was to provide a “seamless” addition that would reinforce both the clinical and research aspects of the facility, while creating a sensitive and healing environment. This was accomplished by: (1) layering the spaces from public to private; (2) designing flexible interactive space shared by researchers, clinicians, patients and the community to enhance communication; (3) creating a tranquil and healing environment; and (4) providing state-of-the-art technologies and related infrastructure.

The new addition continues a concept that has worked well in the original facility, i.e., maintaining both a visual and physical connection between clinical care and research. This will enable patients to see that there is active research taking place, giving them hope for their own treatment and for future cures. Feedback from focus groups of patients and family members confirmed that this uplifts their spirits.

A multistory atrium will visually connect the laboratory spaces with the clinical spaces below. Formal and informal gathering areas throughout the facility will foster a significant increase in communication and collaboration among caregivers, clinical researchers and basic science researchers


One of the most important design concepts from the client's perspective was ensuring that the design of the addition achieved a sense of “bigger but smaller.” This was done by creating treatment and exam suite clusters and sub-waiting areas that will increase privacy and comfort. Prefect rooms conveniently located throughout the exam suites will provide privacy for caregiver discussions with students, residents and/or researchers without compromising patient confidentiality. An outdoor healing garden can be viewed from all waiting areas, providing a peaceful buffer between the patients and the public, and directing patients' vision outward toward their future


PROJECT CATEGORY Project in Progress (November 2003)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR William N. Hait, MD, PhD, Director and Associate Dean, Oncology Programs, (732) 235-8064

FIRM Hillier, (609) 452-8888

DESIGN TEAM Jan L. Bishop, AIA, Principal; R. Stephen McDaniel, AIA, Principal; Colin Mosher, AIA, Project Designer; Hillit Meidar-Alfi, Healthcare Planner; Jessica Vuocolo, ASID, Interior Designer