HDR Architecture, Inc.
Firm's role on the project: Planning, Programming, Architecture, Design, Interiors
To create a low-stress, positive healing environment for oncology patients and staff through the implementation of evidence-based design strategies in the design of a new cancer center.
Baylor Scott & White Health wanted to design a new outpatient center on the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center campus. Located at the entrance of the medical center campus, the cancer center is an extension of the many services provided by the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center Hospital. The public space of the cancer center is oriented toward the hospital, which is a familiar landmark in Waco.
To achieve this goal, the design team integrated the latest research findings and evidence-based design strategies into the design of the cancer center. Specifically, the team hypothesized: that patient satisfaction and caregiver efficiency, morale, and satisfaction would improve by incorporating access to nature, natural light, outdoor views, and respite spaces for privacy and reflection. Incorporating these elements while creating convenient and accessible spaces that met the project budget and programming requirements was challenging. The programming requirements included: radiation therapy, 20 semi-private infusion therapy bays, imaging, CT Scanner, two linear accelerator vaults set up for two Varian “Truebeam,” dosimetry space, team station, exam, consult and treatment rooms, lobby, conference room, staff area, and a chapel.
The entire center is designed to create a low-stress, positive experience for patients receiving this specialized care with convenient and accessible spaces. The central team area offers patients one single location to be assessed and receive necessary services e.g. blood draws, prior to treatment. This concept allows radiation and medical oncology staff to collaborate and work with patients and their family on treatment options. After patients are assessed they can head directly to either radiation or medical oncology. As an added benefit, patients that frequently receive treatment can bypass the standard patient flow and go directly to the changing area and the appropriate treatment area, after a quick stop at the main reception area.
Natural light, views, and access to nature were emphasized as key strategies to promote healing and increase user satisfaction. A private garden provides scenic views for patients receiving treatment in one of the 20 infusion bays, while also connecting the landscape to the existing campus grotto. The integrated facility also includes a dosimetry space, allowing specialists to pinpoint tumors and target treatment, and a dedicated pharmacy where specific cancer drugs are mixed and quickly transported to the treatment area. A non-denominational chapel provides a respite area for patients and families.
A post-occupancy evaluation is currently being conducted to gather feedback from occupants on their satisfaction with the building design and measure the effect of these and other design interventions.