MSK Monmouth Cancer Center

  • area / size 154,000 sqft
  • Completed 2016
  • Location Middletown, New Jersey,
  • Perkins+Will completed the biophilic design for the MSK Monmouth Cancer Center located in Middletown, New Jersey.

    At Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Monmouth ambulatory care facility, Perkins+Will brought the natural world to the patients. The team utilized biophilic design practices to adaptively reuse the 1980s office building, transforming it into an airy, light-filled haven. Yet the patients—and their caregivers—remain the focus, with the empathetic design and comprehensive program aiming to make them feel, at all times, comfortable, connected, and in control.

    MSK Monmouth is the first MSK facility outside of Manhattan to provide outpatient surgical procedures. To support this goal–and the diagnostic and treatment services it requires, including chemotherapy and radiation–Perkins+Will reconfigured the three-story building. The new layout features infusion, phlebotomy, and rehabilitation facilities; medical and surgical oncology clinics; surgical and interventional radiology suites; a radiation oncology department; and multiple imaging areas, including one dedicated to women. The team also upgraded the building’s power and communications systems to ensure they will remain robust enough for the cutting-edge tools and technologies MSK employs now and in the future.

    Simplified Circulation – Rather than a main entrance, MSK Monmouth has three distinct entries. The first—located on the building’s upper level and approached via a glass bridge—accommodates general use. The second, on the lower level, serves daily radiology and oncology patients. The third is dedicated to caregivers, practitioners, and hospital staff. These varied circulation patterns ensure patients are warmly received upon entering the facility while staff can get to and from their destinations efficiently.

    Patient Experience – Research played a substantial role in the project, with Perkins+Will’s planning and design team reimagining the physical areas where cancer patients feel most vulnerable. The findings—informed by additional research conducted by MSK—resulted in more comfortable changing, exam, and consultation rooms, with special attention paid to ways to preserve patient control and dignity. These moves took large and small forms, from reworking traffic flows to installing adjustable lighting and temperature controls in each infusion room.

    Biophilic Design – Research has shown that incorporating nature into the built environment promotes healing and well-being. To maximize MSK Monmouth’s setting, the Perkins+Will team cut a path to the center of the rectilinear structure, creating a greenery-filled courtyard that also allows light to flow into building spaces it otherwise wouldn’t reach. A series of glass-enclosed pedestrian bridges traverse the site, offering glimpses of the neighboring woodlands. Plus each of the 18 infusion rooms provides patients with direct views of nature.

    Hospitality Cues – Throughout MSK Monmouth a series of “micro-experiences” replace traditional waiting rooms. These spaces—dens, parlors, and libraries located alongside the main corridors—provide different kinds of opportunities for patient and family respite. Perkins+Will and MSK collaborated on the areas, designed according to the amount of time users will spend in them. The client also is using the concept as a branding element throughout its One MSK network of local healthcare facilities.

    ArchitectPerkins+Will
    Design Team: Robin Guenther, Maha Sabra, Ted Shaw, Aiko Tanabe, Robert Goodwin, Carolyn BaRoss, David Kunzig, Andrew Bennett, Yuan Su, Dawn Pappas, Marko Goodwin
    ContractorTurner Construction Company
    Photography: Halkin Mason Photography