Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Contractor: The Boldt Company
The new regional cancer center on the northern edge of Appleton reflects the goal to deliver compassionate patient-centered care in a highly integrated and collaborative way. The building is outward focused, taking advantage of the surrounding diverse ecosystem to enhance the healing environment for patients and visitors. Connected to an existing ambulatory care clinic with some shared services, the new center offers a full spectrum of care, including advanced medical and radiation oncology treatments and procedures. An exterior courtyard is an organizing element, separating the two buildings while providing a centralized place for people to use throughout the day. The use of natural exterior materials helps the new building fit into its setting. Scale, texture and rhythm work together to create interest and humanize the building for patients. Moving through the building, views to the exterior and light make it feel less institutional. Various elements are used to provide positive distractions and give patients a greater sense of control. The radiation vaults, often intimidating and overwhelming, are wrapped in panoramic nature scenes with variable lighting that patients can change to suit their preference. Peaceful gardens, a walking trail and water features offer areas of respite for patients and staff. A large staff collaboration area is a unique and innovative work space in which physicians and staff discuss and develop coordinated strategies for each patient, enhancing efficiency and patient care.
Jury Comment: “Oncology is really scary, and this building makes if feel less scary. It feels of a human scale. The material pallet is reassuring. Its asymmetrical plan allows the building to take advantage of the landscape, and there is something comforting about that. The architect is trying very hard to be reassuring through design, illustrating the role architecture can play in healthcare and the healing process.”
Photos: Paul Crosby Photography