Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center
Evidence Based Design for Better Patient Outcomes
Princeton, NJ

Project Type

Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, formerly known as the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) is a 355-bed non-profit acute care hospital. Surrounded by an established residential neighborhood, UMCPP is often perceived as a community hospital though its services extend regionally.

Feasibility and Land Planning


Hillier Architecture provided feasibility studies for UMCPP’s continued program development on the existing campus as well as for UMCPPs potential relocation onto a new green-field site. All green-field site options are located near major traffic routes on the outskirts of the community.


One challenge in designing the replacement medical center is to create an image that asserts UMCPPs status as a regional hospital while reflecting its continued commitment to the surrounding community. The sites considered have a minimum of 50 acres that will provide for the future growth of the hospital as well as the development of medical office, research, and wellness/fitness facilities.

Interior Design


Evidence-based design, which links the quality of the hospital environment to patient healing and recovery rates, is at the heart of the design for the new hospital. From the abundant, natural light, to spacious and flexible operating rooms, to all-private, patient rooms designed to reduce falls and minimize the risk of infection, every aspect of the hospital’s design conveys a healing and welcoming atmosphere for patients, their families and hospital staff.


Sustainability and Efficiency


The new hospital’s sustainable design includes many energy and conservation innovations to make it one of the most environmentally advanced hospitals in the nation. The building configuration is on an east-west orientation, relative to the site, to maximize the use of natural light while controlling solar heat gain. On the façade, a sunlight-regulating exterior screen significantly reduces the amount of energy required for heating and cooling.


Additional features include a chilled water thermal storage system, environmental controls for lighting and temperature and a green roof. The site’s landscaping also features indigenous plants.