Renovations of the Robert H. and Judy Dow Alexander Cancer Center at the St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s hospital campus located in Ann Arbor, Michigan are complete. The expanded 66,000-square-foot cancer center was designed to provide space for the hospital’s growth and to enhance the facility’s cancer research and treatment facilities. The project team included Harley Ellis Devereaux and Granger Construction.
The $24-million renovation creates new and expanded space for St. Joe’s cancer research program, in particular, while also accommodating the facility’s significant patient population expansion of recent years. As the only National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program in Southeast Michigan, St. Joe’s had a growing need to house expanded research and education for this field. The facility’s main floor hosts this research work alongside a multi-disciplinary team of clinical psychologists, social workers, chaplains, geneticists and nutritionists. This space, designed to increase collaboration and communication among a comprehensive suite of providers, also features an education center offering community outreach and educational programming.
Home to 38 exam rooms, the expanded facility offers a separate entrance and exit for patients, providing a concierge-like oncology-care experience. The cancer center is clad in a clear glass curtainwall system, denoting its independent identity, while its steel structure and interior brick help visually connect it to the core St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital facility. The existing building’s main atrium was also replaced, and significant exterior improvements were added through creative landscape design enhancements. To accommodate each of these diverse project goals, the design process was conducted in a collaborative way, with the design team hosting a Lean workshop involving more than 60 participants.
“The interior approach in this facility is a new one for cancer care—utilizing fewer walls for a more open and flexible layout. The patient experience is made seamless with improved circulation. Unlike other hospitals and clinics, its organization is open rather than maze-like, preventing disorientation and reducing the feeling of a ‘clinical’ experience for patients,” said David Jaeger, HED’s Healthcare Design Studio leader.
The Robert H. and Judy Dow Alexander Cancer Center is also home to a state-of-the-art new infusion center designed to host patients and their families in comfort with 22 private bays providing room for guests amidst a large amount of natural light. This infusion center also overlooks an adjacent healing garden. This private outdoor space offers a serene setting for calm reflection filled with hedges, trees and boulders from the nearby shores of the Great Lakes.