Cancer Center expansion and renovation enhance treatment options and increase throughput while reducing patient anxiety
An 8,800-square-foot expansion and 7,800-square-foot renovation at the Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital Cancer Center not only expand services and allow clinicians to see more patients more efficiently but also create a more soothing setting. A new, dedicated entry with a large canopy welcomes visitors and reinforces the advanced nature of the treatments within. Among the spaces are a new large linear accelerator vault, two renovated vaults, a new entry lobby/waiting area, and a new conference center.
The design of the expansion retains the building’s original form but expands significantly with curved walls and glass panels. Stone-clad columns that had been a part of the original smaller cancer center exterior vehicular canopy are now seen inside the new lobby as an integral part of the design. Banded masonry combines the red brick that appears elsewhere on campus with dark gray to distinguish the cancer center entry when viewed as far away as the campus loop road. The porte cochere that is large enough to shelter four vehicles illuminates at dusk, delivers patients to the lobby, and emphasizes the cancer center’s life-saving mission.
An elliptical ceiling feature with clerestories distributes daylight and draws people into the lobby. It is also visible from the outside loop road as a curved beacon. The circular uplight/downlight fixtures provide direct downward lighting while illuminating the expansive ceiling.
The large linear accelerator vault features a stone wall backdrop to the sculptural equipment, flush-panel wood-toned storage cabinets, and an LED-lighted ceiling panel with images of sky and trees. This ceiling feature simulates a skylight overhead, further relaxing the patient with positive distractions. An elliptical beam of light on the floor reinforces the ceiling feature, which includes a second ellipse that holds cameras and other equipment.