WSV Architects completes new medical facility in Alabama
The DCH Cancer Center provides state of the art medical and radiation oncology services, and provides an environment conducive to the healing of the whole patient; mind, body, and spirit. The center seeks to enhance the patients' wellbeing through its strong connection to the outdoors, ample use of natural light, dramatic two-storey entry rotunda, second level outdoor garden terrace, and a future patient victory garden to be located at the entry to the facility. The Cancer Center will create a new image for DCH Healthcare System that will celebrate its uplifting healing environment for all who enter through its doors.
The Cancer Center was designed by WSV Architects in collaboration with Houston based FKP Architects. It was built by Harrison Construction and completed in May of 2009.
The approximately 100,000 sq ft facility was constructed as a two-storey building with a partial basement. The basement contains logistical support functions and central mechanical equipment. The main floor consists of an entry lobby rotunda, centralised registration, and Radiation Oncology, which includes two linear accelerators, shell space for a future accelerator, a CT simulator, a Mammosite HDR system and eight exam rooms. This floor also includes a number of patient amenities including a family resource center, art therapy areas, multi-purpose classroom, an appearance boutique, chapel and café. The first floor houses the Medical Oncology program that includes treatment / infusion stations for twenty-four patients, twelve exam rooms and support facilities including pharmacy and administrative offices. The Medical Oncology floor features an outdoor terrace around which the treatment / infusion stations are organised.
Symbolically, the nautilus form provides all who visit the Cancer Center with the message of hope; symbolising renewal, rebirth, and infinite life. This symbol is carried throughout the facility, from outside in, expressed through the undulating curves of the gardens, façade and canopies. The 'victory garden' will be located outside the main entry to the Cancer Center and will be an inviting space defined by a large water feature, gardens, and pathways that explore the spiral form and lead to the main entry rotunda of the building. The rotunda floor continues the nautilus pathway, while inviting the visitor’s eye to explore the uplifting space around them. The pathway then continues towards the public concourse which provides convenient access to Patient Registration and Amenities.
The Amenity Spaces further the patients' ability to heal through access to an appearance Boutique, Wellness Center (providing space for yoga, reiki, tai chi, and other patient therapies), Creativity Center (providing art therapy for patients and family), Group Therapy room, Café, Resource Center, and Chapel. In addition, the Cancer Center provides centralised registration, meeting space, and patient counseling services.