UMDNJ Cancer Center
Patients and Researchers Under one Roof at High-Tech Cancer Center
Newark, NJ

Project Type

A new 200,000 SF state-of-the-art Comprehensive Cancer Center was designed for The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark, NJ.  The cancer center is a federally designated “Center of Excellence”—an initiative designed to bolster research and education of doctors, scientists, and other healthcare professionals in under-served communities.  The goal was to create a dignified, empowering patient environment and to make a statement about clinical care and medical research in the 21st century.

Challenges and Solutions


The facility had to incorporate the latest in technological research approaches with flexible and efficient laboratory work space and house outpatient treatment areas for adult and pediatric cancer patients, as well as sophisticated cancer research laboratories, all under one roof.  The solution was to have patients seen by doctors on floors one through four and scientists conduct would research on causes and cures for cancer on the top three floors.  A resource center, wellness center, education spaces and family waiting areas encourage learning, communication, and collaboration.

The building’s unusual geometries – irregular openings and slanted interior walls – underscore the university’s mission to challenge conventional notions about healthcare and research and dissolve barriers between physicians, cancer researchers and patients. The building’s facade has been pulled back to allow light to infuse the healing and research spaces which are organized around an open atrium that connects the floors and augments wayfinding, and brings researchers, patients, and caregivers together.