Architect: HKS, Inc.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Project Team: Enrique Greenwell, Bruce E. Johnson, Dulce Torres
General Contractor: Abitat
MEP Engineer: Hector Gomez Engineers
Structural Engineer: Correa Hermanos S.A. de C.V.
Project Area: 65,000 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Blake Marvin, HKS Inc.
The synergy of the Centro de Cancer ABC (American British Cowdray Cancer Center) creates an optimal treatment environment for patients challenged with persevering through an intimidating and life-changing experience. Located in Mexico City, this comprehensive oncology center integrates radiation therapy, chemotherapy, minor procedures, clinical multi-specialty teams, diagnostics, and patient support and education. Many of the services currently scattered throughout the campus are now consolidated into one multi-modality center. This facility also brings many of the oncology specialists together in one building, creating a multi-disciplined team organization for physicians and staff.
Chemotherapy is located on the top floor and provides views of the city skyline through landscaped terraces just outside the windows. A healing garden provides respite for patients, visitors and staff, and is adjacent to Christian and Jewish chapels.
A portion of the project site is allotted for a neighborhood park to further serve the community and integrate the building into the neighborhood fabric. The entire street edge of the building has landscaping along the perimeter. Patient drop-off and valet services are available at two levels, and grade-level parking is located immediately adjacent to the building.
Several factors played a role in the design challenge; the odd-shaped urban site locked the project between older residential buildings, streets, a group of old warehouses and a small triangular strip of land. The main hospital sits across the street, so the approach was to find connectivity with it, take advantage of views of the city skyline toward the south and prevent undesired views of adjacent rooftops, while at the same time providing with much needed natural light into every space available. A combination of vision glass was used to enhance and frame views, while spandrel and sandblasted glass served to block and filter natural light in others, so patients would not face undesired lines of sight.
The need to create a front that drivers would recognize as the main entry, due to the street’s disorderly layout shaped a four-story glazed atrium that acts as the generator of the overall form; its concave glass follows the newly-introduced roundabout that leads visitors and patients under the drop-off canopy. This solution enabled the design team to re-introduce and expand the existing green space and enhance it, connecting it visually to the building and intertwining it with the urban fabric.