The University of Pennsylvania announced the groundbreaking for the construction of a new hospital on Penn Medicine’s West Philadelphia campus designed by Foster + Partners as part of PennFirst, an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team. The Pavilion will house 500 private patient rooms and 47 operating rooms in a 1.5 million square foot, 16-story facility on the former site of Penn Tower. It will house inpatient care for cancer, heart and vascular medicine and surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, as well as a new emergency department. At the heart of the new hospital’s design is flexibility to adapt to the rapidly evolving healthcare field.

The new Pavilion is linked to its neighbors on the Penn campus, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the adjacent Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine as well as the train station via a network of public bridges and walkways making the movement of people around the campus legible and easy. Special care was taken in the development of the urban realm creating pedestrianized routes and landscaped gardens and plazas to enhance the public experience. The color and articulation of the façade gives a visual richness that reflects its historic campus location and resonates with the existing hospital complex.

The building tells a story of innovation, rethinking patient care by minimizing stress and maximizing careful and considerate treatment. From the moment of arrival, the patient experience is reframed by breaking down the scale of the hospital into smaller neighborhoods which provide a sense of community. The hospital is designed for health and wellbeing providing daylight and landscape views to patients and visitors and the ability to personalize each room.

Long term flexibility was incorporated into the design so that patient rooms can be adapted and changed over time with minimal impact on the building fabric. All the rooms are uniform so instead of patients being moved around, the right care can come to them. This makes the hospital flexible both today and into the future.

Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio and Senior Executive Partner who is leading the project said, “When setting out to design a hospital, the requirement is normally to improve on the existing model. Instead, we questioned this approach. The effort and determination of our whole multidisciplinary team to investigate every single detail of healthcare delivery and hospital design to drive change will lead to a hospital that makes a new benchmark for the future of healthcare.”

The facility will be the largest capital project in Penn’s history and Philadelphia’s most sophisticated and ambitious healthcare project.

The design and planning process for the Pavilion has been orchestrated by PennFirst, an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team consisting of the global healthcare design firm HDR, the international architect Foster + Partners, and the innovative engineering design capabilities of BR+A, as well as the construction management expertise of L.F. Driscoll and Balfour Beatty. Staff from each group – as well as Penn Medicine clinical, facilities, and patient experience experts –  work collaboratively in a specially designed “integration space” to ensure cohesion and strategic planning and reduce waste at each step of the project.

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