The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Architect:  Perkins Eastman Architects & Ennead Architects

Owner:  Memorial Sloan  Kettering Cancer Center

Location: New York, New York

Category: Built- More than $25 million (construction cost)

The new 750,000-square-foot David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center represents the latest chapter in the institution’s 137-year effort to prevent, control, and, ultimately, cure cancer. The center is the largest freestanding cancer care facility for both Memorial Sloan Kettering and New York City at large. Across its 25 floors, the center offers seemingly every aspect of cancer care, allowing patients to access the varied services they may need in a single visit.

Accommodating a staff of nearly 1,300 people, the $1.5 billion center includes 231 exam rooms, 110 private infusion rooms, 37 procedure rooms, and 16 inpatient beds for patients who require short stays. It serves those requiring hematologic oncology and interventional radiology and those dealing with endocrine, head and neck, pulmonary, and thoracic cancers. The center also provides phase I clinical trials and outpatient bone marrow transplants.

“A simple approach to the massing and façade allows the huge structure to be broken down to create an iconic architectural solution” - Jury comment

The building comprises several smaller-scale facade elements that help break the massing into smaller volumes. That strategy has created a welcoming facility that is responsive to programmatic needs for openness and privacy. The team’s careful consideration of the floor plate requirements for the center’s diagnostic imaging environments—including one of the nation’s first MR-Linac suites—shaped the five lower floors. Above, the clinical floors support efficiencies for different service lines. While they were designed to feel and operate as neighborhoods of smaller physician practices, the clinical floors also foster collegiality and research endeavors. The building is crowned with several floors of academic offices, reflecting Memorial Sloan Kettering’s long history of collaboration between physicians and scientists.

Along the building’s facade, varying fin depths and window sizes respond to solar orientation and program requirements while providing a distinct exterior identity. The responsive facade reduces solar heat gain and glare, but it also provides its occupants ample natural light and sweeping views of the East River and greater New York City. The balance of light and views is a central component of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s commitment to building welcoming and healing environments.

"Functionally, its operations are pushing the boundary in medicine while providing warm and welcoming spaces in this urban jungle context.” - Jury comment

“A simple approach to the massing and façade allows the huge structure to be broken down to create an iconic architectural solution,” said the jury. “Functionally, its operations are pushing the boundary in medicine while providing warm and welcoming spaces in this urban jungle context.”

One of the center’s most innovative features is its integration of real-time location system (RTLS) devices. Untethered from waiting areas because of RTLS technology, patients are encouraged to roam. This freedom transforms the anxiety-producing experience of waiting for an appointment into more productive time. Additionally, given the center’s adjacency to the East River, the building’s systems are reinforced by features that will allow it to continue to operate even in a 500-year flood event.

Additional information

Architect: Perkins  Eastman Architects  in association with Ennead Architects

Associate Architect: Ennead Architects    

Medical Planner/Interior Designer, Clinical and Administration Spaces:  Perkins Eastman    

In-house Interior Design: MSK Design    

Engineer - Structural: Thornton Tomasetti    

Engineer - MEP: Jaros Baum & Bolles Consulting Engineers    

Engineer - Civil: Philip Habib & Associates    

Construction Manager: Turner Construction    

Consultant - Acoustic: Cerami & Associates, Inc.              

Consultant - AV/IT Systems: Jaros Baum & Bolles Consulting Engineers      

Consultant - Code: Jensen Hughes    

Consultant - Environmental Planning: AKRF Engineering, P.C    

Consultant - Experiential Design/Interior Designer, Public Spaces:  ICRAVE    

Consultant - Flood Protection Consultant: WTM Engineers International  GMBH    

Consultant - Food Service: Cini-Little International, Inc.    

Consultant - Landscape: RGR Landscape Architecture    

Consultant - LEED: Atelier Ten    

Consultant - Lighting Design: Horton-Lees Brogden Lighting Design,  Inc.    

Consultant - Materials Handling: St. Onge Company    

Consultant - Medical Equipment: Shen Milsom & Wilke LLC    

Consultant - Security: Jaros Baum & Bolles Consulting Engineers    

Consultant - Shielding: VitaTech Engineering    

Consultant - Signage: Exit    

Consultant - Vertical Transportation: Van Deusen Associates    

Consultant - Wind Engineering: Cermak Peterka Petersen, Inc.

Jury

Thomas J. Trenolone AIA, (Chair), HDR, Omaha, Nebraska

David Allison FAIA, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Betsy Beaman AIA, GOAT DESIGN, Atlanta, GA

Windom Kimsey, FAIA, TSK Architects, Henderson, Nevada

Noah Tolson, Array Architects, Philadelphia, PA

Norio Tsuchiya AIA, triARC architecture and design, Phoenix, AZ

Kirsten Waltz, AIA, Baystate Health, Glastonbury, Connecticut

Image credits

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center-11

Andrew Rugge-Perkins Eastman

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center-13

Andrew Rugge-Perkins Eastman

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center-14

Chris Cooper Photographer

MSK Koch Center for Cancer Care_Int Inpatient Infusion w People__Copyright Chris Cooper

Chris Cooper Photographer

MSK Koch Center for Cancer Care_Ext River NE 5 Dusk__Copyright Andrew Rugge

Andrew Rugge-Perkins Eastman