Construction and design teams work on pro-bono basis to complete serene residence for transplant patients and families
The intensity of treatment undertaken by organ transplant patients is more often than not coupled with a financial strain which is suffered both by the patients themselves and their close families, with few measures in place to support individuals at this most difficult time. The newly completed Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House in connection with the Penn Transplant Institute bridges this gap by providing calm, welcoming residence at reduced rates.
Named after the doctor who completed the first kidney transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Barker Transplant House enables patients and their family members to relax in ‘comfortable hotel rooms’ at subsidised rates, reducing the potential stress brought on by heavy rent bills. As a gesture towards this worthy cause, a proportion of the building has been funded through public donations while the construction and design teams involved worked on a pro-bono basis.
The complex has been designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects with the intention of creating a ‘home away from home’, with a naturally-lit bedrooms arranged around a central courtyard space which offers either a communal gathering spot or an intimate corner for quiet contemplation. All bedrooms are located on one level to limit vertical circulation and instill a strong sense of connection among the guests.
Rafael Viñoly Architects explains: “As patients grow weaker - and, in some cases disabled - while awaiting a compatible donor organ, they often become totally dependent on spouses and family members who, in addition to being their sole means of financial support, become their round-the-clock caregivers.” To create this warm and tranquil environment, the residence also incorporates a family meeting room, dining area, communal kitchen with modern facilities, a laundry room, and computer facilities for internet access.