Because cancer clinics are often alienated spaces, healing elements such as natural light, outdoor views, artwork, native plants and calming colors help cancer patients feel more comfortable when visiting the clinic and reminds them that there is life after cancer. Georgia Regents University Medical Center, a recognized leader in family and patient-centered care, understands the importance of the patient and family experience therefore the Medical Center sought to "deinstitutionalize" its current facility by creating a newly designed healing environment.
The client retained Turner & Townsend Heery to design a state-of-the-art outpatient Oncology Center of Excellence to be located adjacent to the existing Medical College of Georgia Cancer Research Center. The first floor of the two-story facility contains outpatient oncology clinics, grouped in flexible pods. In addition to the clinical exam rooms reached from a main concourse, there are supportive care and counseling elements, a patient resource library, a gallery corridor, community room, Lymphedema therapies and individual physician and intern team conference rooms adjacent to each pod. The second floor features the infusion area, which opens to an adjacent roof garden with a stage for harpists and other musicians to perform.
The building was designed by patients, for patients. Heery worked with a broad-based team of patient advisors and clinicians with the goal of “deinstitutionalizing” the facility by creating a true healing environment. The medical center’s investment in its oncology center has resulted in greater patient volume as well as satisfaction, improved physician recruiting and increased clinical trials. The ability to treat the whole patient was a strong influence in the design, delivered with spaces for interaction among patients, family support and community education, along with the flexibility for privacy when needed. Sustainability was addressed with careful attention to material selection, daylighting and selection of engineering systems in addition to designing now for future vertical and horizontal expansion.
60,000 SF (capable of doubling in size)