Penn Medicine Radnor
Category: Built- More than $25 million (construction cost)
After outgrowing its ambulatory care facility, with its inadequate ceiling heights and disorganized layouts, Penn Medicine turned to the suburbs of Philadelphia to create a new $200 million center that is focused on regenerating both the health of those who seek care there and the site itself. The new center is inspired by environmental stewardship and the ideals of biophilia, embracing nature and erasing the division between indoors and out.
Penn Medicine’s new facility is nearly double the size of its previous center, and it offers patients primary care, comprehensive cancer care, and other specialized treatments. It includes six operating rooms, four endoscopy suites, and complete laboratory services. The project, initiated in 2016, is among Penn Medicine’s growing list of ambulatory centers that deliver care closer to where its patients and families live.
“The rolling park-like landscape deserves a design award of its own and draws on the natural character of the region.” - Jury comment
Sustainability and the patient experience were two of the most critical design concerns for the four-story, 250,000-square-foot facility. Relying on evidence-based design throughout the process, the team facilitated rigorous planning workshops to inform its design decisions and ensure the layout would improve staff communication and efficiency. The facility’s flexible clinic modules allow the design to keep pace with shifting demands. Many configurations of the modules were tested during the planning stages, demonstrating a 38% reduction in patient travel time while nearly doubling the scope of patient care spaces.
The facility occupies what was once a derelict suburban office park originally built in the 1960s. Like much of that era’s suburban planning, the original buildings were dropped in the center of the site and surrounded by surface parking. This new development reverses that model, placing the buildings along the site’s periphery and transforming the center into a lush green space. Parking has been relegated to garages, reducing lot coverage from 65% to 45%.
“The rolling park-like landscape deserves a design award of its own and draws on the natural character of the region,” noted the jury. “The building serves as an elegant but understated backdrop to its landscape with elements of delight that are impactful and purposeful.”
Since its opening, the surrounding community has embraced the facility and its publicly accessible walking trails that connect to a more extensive regional network. The design team and client worked closely with the community to develop a plan that bolsters the local ecosystem through warm-season meadows and rain gardens bursting with native plants.
“The building serves as an elegant but understated backdrop to its landscape with elements of delight that are impactful and purposeful” - Jury comment
When the facility opened in 2020, it hosted COVID-19 testing. Its spacious design allowed for comfortable social distancing, and its central location made it a popular testing site.