Me­mo­rial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter

West Har­ri­son, N.Y.

Modern Healthcare - - DESIGN AWARDS -


Can­cer cen­ter




Hunter Roberts Con­struc­tion Group


Au­gust 2014


102,000 square feet


$75.3 mil­lion


$ 738

What par­tic­u­larly struck De­sign Awards judge Ru­lon Stacey about the new Me­mo­rial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter in West Har­ri­son, N.Y., was the prom­i­nent stair­case in the mid­dle of the lobby.

“We keep telling peo­ple to take the stairs,” said Stacey, a for­mer hos­pi­tal sys­tem CEO who now teaches at the Univer­sity of Min­nesota’s grad­u­ate pro­gram in health ad­min­is­tra­tion. “So the ar­chi­tects have taken them out of the dark part of the build­ing and made them an in­te­gral part of the fa­cil­ity.”

The $75.3 mil­lion, 102,000-square-foot MSK out­pa­tient fa­cil­ity, which opened last Oc­to­ber, is the gold-prize win­ner in Mod­ern Healthcare’s 30th an­nual De­sign Awards. It fea­tures sun­lit rooms, a flex­i­ble de­sign, valet park­ing and a full ar­ray of can­cer treat­ment ser­vices. Those ser­vices in­clude chemo­ther­apy, ra­di­a­tion ther­apy, ge­netic coun­sel­ing, nutri­tion and so­cial sup­port, and breast, gas­tric, gyne­co­logic, tho­racic, uro­logic and plas­tic and re­con­struc­tive surgery.

Pa­tients us­ing the chemo­ther­apy in­fu­sion chairs have out­door views, a di­rect line of sight to the nurses’ sta­tions, and tech­nol­ogy that lets them or­der food, call a nurse, se­lect a movie or ed­u­ca­tional video, and con­trol their light­ing.

Mary Fra­zier, a prin­ci­pal with Philadelphia-based EwingCole, which de­signed the fa­cil­ity, said the cen­tral stair­case con­nects the fa­cil­ity’s lower-floor lobby to sec­ond-floor ser­vices such as med­i­cal on­col­ogy, in­fu­sion rooms and the re­tail phar­macy. Fra­zier said it has be­come her firm’s prac­tice to place stairs near el­e­va­tors be­cause it lets pa­tients make a state­ment about their health progress.

“The orig­i­nal con­cept is for pa­tients to af­firm their well­ness,” Fra­zier said. “They say, ‘I’m feel­ing good, I can take the stairs.’ But we find staff likes to use them, too.”

The pro­ject is a ren­o­va­tion of a 1950s-era of­fice build­ing lo­cated along a stretch of of­fice parks in Westch­ester County. “It doesn’t look like a ren­o­va­tion,” said De­sign Award judge Ag­nessa Todor­ova, a healthcare ar­chi­tect and di­rec­tor of in­te­gra­tion for Bris­bane, Calif.-based Adi­tazz. “It looks time­less. It could have been built 50 years ago or just to­day.”

Re­mov­able par­ti­tions in the in­fu­sion area give the fa­cil­ity flex­i­bil­ity to add new tech­nol­ogy or make other changes called for by clin­i­cal in­no­va­tions. Todor­ova said the MSK West Har­ri­son cen­ter showed that it was pos­si­ble to cus­tom­ize a value-based de­sign to come up with a fresh and at­trac­tive build­ing. “It’s a very nice and el­e­gant so­lu­tion de­spite the con­straints,” she said. “Its sim­ple lobby and public spa­ces don’t scream ‘hos­pi­tal’ to me.”

The pro­ject was awarded gold cer­ti­fi­ca­tion un­der the U.S. Green

Build­ing Coun­cil’s Lead­er­ship in Energy and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­sign pro­gram be­cause of its en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient de­sign, use of re­cy­cled and low chem­i­cal-emis­sion ma­te­ri­als, wa­ter ef­fi­ciency and ac­cess to public trans­porta­tion.

Ev­ery ef­fort was made to place med­i­cal equip­ment out of sight be­hind cab­i­nets. De­sign el­e­ments were bor­rowed from ho­tel, residential and spa set­tings so pa­tients would feel com­fort­able.

Henry Chao, a prin­ci­pal with HOK ar­chi­tects in New York who served as a judge, said he liked how the build­ing fit with its sur­round­ings and com­mu­nity. “It’s so New York and East Coast,” he said.

Fra­zier said there was a con­scious ef­fort to achieve that in­dige­nous look. She said the pro­ject team vis­ited a lo­cal shop­ping cen­ter to study the con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als used and what kind of stores lo­cal res­i­dents liked to fre­quent.

The fa­cil­ity fea­tures pho­to­graphic art supplied by the staff. Fra­zier said the art is changed quar­terly, so pa­tients don’t have to look at the same things over and over. “Pa­tients re­peat­edly go back,” she said. “This gives pa­tients a feel­ing of progress.”

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