Project category: New construction (completed April 2005)

Chief administrator: JoAnn Magnatta, Senior Vice-President of Facilities and Design and Construction, (610) 526-1461

Firm: EwingCole, (215) 923-2020

Design team: Saul Jabbawy, AIA, Project Designer; Howard Skoke, AIA, Project Planner; James A. Wilson, AIA, Project Manager; Roger Macartney, Project Architect; Brian Hahnlen, Lighting Designer; Kevin Yoder, Project Architect

Photography: Jeffrey Totaro

Total building area (sq. ft.): 39,800

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $246

Total construction cost (excluding land): $9,800,000

Lankenau Hospital has been nationally recognized for its cardiac care, its leading doctors, and its status as one of the top 50 metropolitan hospitals. Amidst all of the acclaim, the hospital maintained its mission as a premier teaching hospital but lacked a modern facility for collaboration.

The new Walter and Leonore Annenberg Conference Center for Medical Education propels Lankenau Hospital's graduate and continuing education programs into the 21st century. Through strategic planning and design, the Conference Center furthers Lankenau's mission as a teaching hospital and serves more than 1,300 physicians in the associated health system. The Conference Center's location strengthens and enhances the overall massing and internal circulation on campus. The design employs natural light and views to gardens and wooded landscapes to create a unique, collaborative, and inviting work setting for visitors and employees. The final piece to the Conference Center's design was the renovation of an auditorium in a connecting, adjacent building.

The Conference Center is organized on three levels, each devoted to a primary function: medical library, offices, and conference center. Each level has its own terrace that overlooks a grand atrium. The predominant feature of the atrium is a large, three-story glass window wall.

On the upper and middle levels, multiple conference and meeting venues accommodate a variety of programs and seating configurations and include integrated technology access for computers and audiovisual equipment. With access to natural light and views, circulation spaces near these rooms are oversized to accommodate breakout functions. These terrace corridors form the framework not only for circulation, but also for social interaction. To promote spontaneous and planned social interface at the center, the architectural elements in these spaces are aided by built-in furniture, such as the benches along the circulation spine and the display cases along the monumental stair.

The library is centrally located on the ground floor. The first-floor architecture is integrated by the extension of the garden outside. Reading rooms, computers, and study carrels serve students and staff. Bamboo room dividers and wood-slat tiles tie in the interior themes from the floors above.

The main conference auditorium, housed in an existing, adjoining building, was redesigned to reflect the new building's design philosophy. The design team implemented extensive renovations to the auditorium to merge the older look of the existing building with the design of the new Conference Center.