Philadelphia’s Asplundh Cancer Pavilion Features Biophilic Design

The recently opened Asplundh Cancer Pavilion’s 86,000-square-foot outpatient center in the suburbs of Philadelphia combines cancer-fighting science with a serene healing environment. Its biophilic design by EwingCole includes an exterior architectural aluminum system finished by Linetec to resemble the look and texture of natural wood.

“Our design team did an incredible job bringing the outdoors into the Pavilion with abundant natural light, birch and moss design elements, and views of the surrounding greenery,” saya Peg O’Grady, Asplundh Cancer Pavilion’s administrative director, oncology at Abington – Jefferson Health. “Research shows that the environment has an effect on the burden of disease and healing times, so we were sure to make each choice thoughtfully.”

The design team interviewed patients and their family members and engaged the Patient and Family Advisory Council as a sounding board. Local stone, indigenous plants and local contractors were used. Demonstrating its environmentally responsible design and construction, the project’s LEED certification is in progress with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Photo: Joe C. Garvin, courtesy of Linetec

Continuity in Care and Design

Each year some 2,000 new cancer patients select Abington Hospital for diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care – making its program one of the busiest cancer centers in the region.

Located on the campus of Abington – Jefferson Health in Willow Grove, Pa, the new $80 million center offers a comprehensive continuum of leading-edge outpatient care, clinical research and support services in one modern facility. The center is actually two buildings connected by a link and unified by a curving façade, composed of a large glass curtainwall with metal accents.

Kawneer manufactured the large, vertical aluminum sunshade fins, and 8- to 12-inch-deep horizontal curtainwall cover plates. Linetec finished these architectural aluminum components in a hazelnut brown, textured wood grain color that captures the look and feel of wood without the associated maintenance.

The Look of Wood, the Performance of Aluminum

Unlike real wood, the finished aluminum is termite and insect proof, UV and corrosion resistant, and fire retardant. The sunshades and accents maintain their intended appearance in all seasons, and do not swell, rot and warp. Linetec’s wood grain finishes meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s stringent AAMA 2604 test standards for ruggedness, chemical and weather resistance.

As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec applies the wood grain coatings by starting with a powder coat then utilizing a heat transfer sublimation process. This produces no VOCs or other potentially harmful emissions that may be of extra concern to patients and health care professionals.

Local Support

Pennsylvania-based R.A. Kennedy & Sons Inc. performed all of the exterior glazing, which included two- and four-sided structural glazed curtainwall, traditional curtainwall, aluminum entrances and custom aluminum trims. Kawneer’s aluminum framing was used for the center’s four-sided, structural glazed curtainwall. In this four-sided cassette system, glass and subframe were fabricated together by R.A. Kennedy and then installed onsite into the curtainwall’s carrier frames. The two-sided system used a conventional structural glazing process.

Robert Ganter Contractors of Quaker, Pa., assisted R.A. Kennedy with the wood grain-finished sunshades and accents. LF Driscoll, located in Philadelphia and part of Structure Tone Inc., managed the overall construction project, keeping the project on schedule and within budget. Asplundh Cancer Pavilion broke ground in May 2016, was substantially completed in 2017 and opened in June 2018.


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