What makes the planning and design of the Asplundh Cancer Center of Abington – Jefferson Health unique is the client’s vision of designing a healing environment for treating cancer while
healing the site itself. The notion of “healing within a natural environment” drove the design of the project from the original site layout and building siting, through the healthcare planning and program distribution, the exterior envelope design, and finally, the design of the interior environment. More than just a healing garden, the vision capitalized on the opportunity to reconnect the building inhabitants to an ecologically restored and vibrant landscape, albeit, within a suburban healthcare park context. The result is a building that is completely interconnected with the site.

The project itself, with 86,000 sq. ft. on two levels, gathers Abington – Jefferson Health’s cancer treatment program under one roof. The new facility was an opportunity to treat cancer recovery as a holistic process rather than the usual approach of addressing it as a medical problem only. The building program reflects the vision by including – in addition to the medical oncology and its associated infusion zones and the radiation oncology program with its linear accelerators – retail pharmacy, palliative and nutritional programs, image recovery program, massage and Lymphedema programs, a public educational program with classrooms and a resource center, geriatric oncology counseling, general counseling, a healthy eating café, and a winter garden.

The project centralizes the treatment functions in an efficient and appropriately sized configuration enabling the staff to provide the finest in cancer care and allowing the patients to heal in a supportive and comforting environment. The consolidation of the program and the design of the facility with the appropriate staff support and meeting zones, brings the medical team together to support the patient concurrently and collaboratively.

Project category: New construction

Chief administrator: Judith Kratka, (retired); Christine Lynn, director, facilities planning and

Firm: EwingCole, www.ewingcole.com

Design team: EwingCole (architect, interior designer, and MEP/structural engineer); L.F. Driscoll Co. (general contractor); Charles E. Shoemaker Inc. (civil engineer); Earth Engineering Inc. (geotechnical engineer); Cairone & Kaupp (landscape architect)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 86,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $930

Total construction cost (excluding land): $80 million

Completed: July 2018