Launch Slideshow

Weill Greenberg Center at Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Greenberg Center at Weill Cornell Medical College

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    A-Glass and aluminum curtain wall
    Permasteelisa Cladding Technologies
    permasteelisa.com
    • Custom curtain-wall system
    • Company provides design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of custom curtain-wall as well as interior wall systems
    • System involved 70,726 square feet of curtain wall, including 18,888 strip windows

    B-Firespan insulation
    Thermafiber
    thermafiber.com
    Mineral-wool insulation that resists temperatures of up to 2,000 F
    • Available in unfaced felt or with a scrim-reinforced foil facing that serves as a vapor retarder
    • Standard blankets available for backing glass spandrel panels
    • Can be used in one-, two-, and three-hour rated assemblies
    • Thermaspan 40 and Thermaspan 90 available for different levels of fire protection

    C-Revolving entry Door
    International Revolving Door
    internationalrevolvingdoors.com
    • Circular enclosure walls arrive in a single piece
    • Enclosures are fully welded with no butt joints
    • All wings constructed with structural steel tubing
    • Surface mounted locks
    • Corrosion-resistant internal components are fabricated from stainless steel or bronze and finished to match the doors

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    A-Preweathered zinc
    Rheinzink
    rheinzink.com
    Electolytically refined zinc, with 99.995 percent purity, and defined amounts of copper and titanium
    • Available in 16-, 18-, 20-, 22-, and 24-gauge thicknesses, ranging from 2.21 to 1.03 pounds per square foot
    • Three finishes are available, including bright rolled, preweathered pro, and preweathered pro graphite gray

    B-Tempered glass swinging entry doors
    Blumcraft
    blumcraft.com
    Solid top and bottom rails
    • Thin stiles are bonded to the glass and available in aluminum, bronze, or stainless steel clad finishes
    • Standard with ½- or ¾-inch-thick tempered glass
    • Adaptable to most overhead or floor closers, automatic operators, electric deadbolts, and electromagnetic locks

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    Fire-rated glazing
    SAFTI SuperLite fire-rated glazing is rated for 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes
    • SuperLite II-XL, recommended for storefronts, blocks radiant heat transfer
    • Glass unit is tempered to withstand 400 footpounds of impact
    • Manufactured standard in thicknesses ranging from 7/8 to 1 1/2 inch

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    A-Insulated fritted glazing
    Viracon Insulated glass units are constructed from two or more panes of glass separated by a dessicantfilled spacer and sealed with organic sealant
    • Multiple glass options available, including different glass for each of the plies
    • Custom frit pattern and coloration allows for light transmittance while still maintaining privacy for interior spaces

    B-Divina side chair
    KnollStudio Chrome-plated steel frame
    • Solid hardwood frame
    • Standard and softer dual-density foam options available
    • Can be upholstered in KnollTextiles or Spinneybeck Leather
    • Greenguard IAQ certified
    • Standard and petite lounge chair (30½ and 37 inches wide), settee (66 inches wide), sofa (91 inches wide), and ottoman available
    • Petite lounge chair measures 31¼ inches deep, while other seating is 35½ inches deep
    • Optional side cushion available
    • Designed by Piero Lissoni

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    Tuff Coat surfacing
    DFB Sales Structurally bonded resin combined with hydraulic cements and ceramic material
    • Trowel applied over fiberglass mesh
    • Three to four coats per application
    • Won’t scratch, peel, or discolor
    • Provides a durable and waterproof surface
    • Zero VOCs and odorless
    • Also available in panel products that can be applied to gypsum or concrete substrates with a variety of fastening methods
    • Custom colors available

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    A-Nimbus drapery fabric
    KnollTextiles
    knoll.com
    Puckered polka dot pattern achieved through a proprietary weaving process
    • Alkaline treatment lightens shade and affects shrinking pattern during the finishing process
    • Five standard colorways available
    • 100 percent polyester
    • Flame retardant
    • Total weight is 3 ounces per linear yard
    • Manufactured in 54-inch-wide bolts

    B-Escalator
    Schindler
    schindler.com
    9300 Advanced Edition system covers most commercial applications
    • Standard package includes pre-engineered solutions that answer most needs
    • Modular package offers an expanded color package, variable dimensions, and features that reduce overall running costs
    • Custom package can be configured to accommodate a 30-foot rise

    C-Roman classic travertine
    G.M. Crocetti
    Natural stone available in slabs, blocks, and tiles
    • Coloration ranges from white to a dark marbled finish
    • Durable surface for high-traffic flooring
    • Can be polished, honed, or sealed with a variety of commercial  sealants
    • Used for flooring throughout the first level and cladding the reception desk and escalators

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    Smooth Pearl paint
    Scuff master
    scuffmaster.com
    Water-based polyurethane paint with subtle pearlescence
    • Contains natural ground mica
    • Low VOCs (146 grams per liter)
    • Durability rated up to 4,200 double scrubs
    • Spray applied
    • Protected by Ultra-Clear clear coat
    • Custom colors available for no upcharge

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    Mosaico broadloom carpet
    Atlas Carpet Mills
    atlascarpetmills.com
    Broadloom carpet with enhanced loop construction
    • Uses Antron Legacy 6,6 nylon fibers
    • Polypropylene primary backing, with Action Bac secondary backing
    • 0.203-inch finished pile height
    • 4-inch-by-4.25-inch pattern repeat on 12-foot-wide rolls
    • Features Duratech soilresistance treatment
    • Total finished weight of 66 ounces per square yard
    • Custom colorways available

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    Millerighe laminate
    Abet Laminati
    abetlaminati.com
    High-pressure decorative laminate featuring an embossed line pattern
    • Formed by pressing melamine-impregnated surface sheets over phenolic-impregnated kraft paper core
    • Sheet size: 51 inches by 120 inches; 0.035 inches thick
    • 20 standard colors available

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    A-Quartered Sapele
    GER Industries Exotic hardwood species that grows in west Africa
    • Dark red coloration
    • Fine grained texture, with interlocked, sometimes wavy grain
    • Lustrous texture enhanced by varnishes and sealants
    • Suitable for cabinetry, furniture, and high-end finish work
    • Cedarlike scent

    B-Loom 17 broadloom carpet
    Constantine Commercial
    constantine-carpet.com
    Solid broadloom carpet with a textured tipsheared finish
    • 12-footwide rolls
    • Tufted yarn weight is 51 ounces
    • 183 tufts per square inch
    • 0.2-inch pile height
    • Features the Endura Loc high-performance backing system with a Lino Woven ActionBac
    • Yarn is 90 percent continuous filament nylon
    • Available in 16 standard colorways with custom options available
    • Also available in a trim-line broadloom

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    Optima Plank ceiling tile
    Armstrong
    armstrong.com 
    Fine-textured fiberglass ceiling panel with nondirectional visual surface
    • High acoustic performance
    • Durable surface allows for frequent plenum access without damage
    • Square lay-in panels available in 24-inch-by-72-inch and 24-inch-by-96-inch planks, with a thickness of ¾ inch 

  • Credit: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

The Weill Cornell Medical Center is a sprawling complex on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The campus includes several prominent buildings, among them the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, a teaching hospital, and research facilities. With the opening last year of the Weill Greenberg Center, the first clinical building in Weill Cornell's 109-year history, the medical center establishes a new paradigm in ambulatory healthcare. The 15-story, 330,000-square-foot flagship, designed by New York–based Polshek Partnership Architects and by Ballinger of Philadelphia, will house the most advanced clinical facilities for departments such as dermatology, hypertension treatment, otolaryngology, in vitro fertilization, and cardiology.

Polshek Partnership was the architect for the base building and all the public spaces. The firm worked closely with Ballinger, which designed the conference center and clinical practices, including reception areas and exam and waiting rooms. Polshek partner Todd Schliemann explains the strategy: "There's a trend for the delivery of healthcare away from a threatening environment. The goal is to deinstitutionalize the experience and create an atmosphere that is perceived as a familiar everyday event."

The building's translucent, vertically faceted curtain wall is a deliberate departure from the architecture of the surrounding buildings. By using low-iron glazing, tinted with a chevron pattern of white ceramic fritting, Schliemann says Polshek was able to create "a soft, elegant veil over the façade." The contrast with the campus's older masonry buildings brings the Weill Greenberg Center out of that institutional context and into the larger city, establishing a new, refined image for healthcare facilities.

The interiors are no less inspired. In both the public spaces and the clinics, Polshek and Ballinger pursued a spa theme, or salus per aquam (Latin for "health through water"), which suggested a palette of warm materials—wood, travertine walls and floors, and Cor-Ten steel accents, with soothing neutral colors, reflective and cascading water features in the lobby, and, of course, an abundance of natural light. The lobby is served, like a spa resort, by a convenient vehicle drop-off with valet parking. From the lobby, escalators ascend to the Patient Welcome and Resource Center, which is open to the public. The center offers patients and families a quiet place to rest between appointments and browse through medical information in one of its lounges, on a computer workstation, or in the Health Education Library.

  • 1. Main Lobby
2. Escalators
3. Drop-off Parking

    Credit: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

    1. Main Lobby 2. Escalators 3. Drop-off Parking

Architect Eric Swanson led the design team for Ballinger. He acknowledges that evidence-based design now drives the strategies of most new healthcare facilities. The goal of evidence-based design is to create environments that are therapeutic, restorative, economical, and efficient and that increase patient satisfaction while reducing both patient and staff stress. The architect and client make decisions based on information gathered from research and past project evaluations. The architect then uses the findings to create the best research-backed solutions for the client's particular needs. During the planning phase of this building, the architects worked closely with Weill Cornell's Physician Organization, which is charged with implementing a new vision for ambulatory patient care through an initiative called Weill Cornell: We Care.

At the Weill Greenberg Center, the Ballinger team relied on materials to facilitate wayfinding. The reception area on every patient floor is located on the north side of the building, making orientation consistent throughout the building. Exam rooms occupy the interior, and doctors' offices claim the southern and eastern perimeters. Reception areas are framed by backdrops of Cor-Ten steel, whose rust patina Swanson says is appropriate here: "It's a real material, natural, durable, and urbane. It has a rich texture." Bronze letters on the steel identify the clinic, and patients are directed either to the left or right, depending on their destination. Signage, etched into frosted-glass panels along the corridors, leads patients to the waiting rooms, which are rendered in neutral colors with midcentury modern leather furniture and high-end artwork selected by an art consultant. The serenity of the center's waiting rooms supports the premise that there is a clear relationship between design and patient perceptions—the more attractive the environment, the higher the perceived quality of medical care and the lower the anxiety.

  • Todd H. Schliemann
Design Partner
Polshek Partnership
    Todd H. Schliemann Design Partner Polshek Partnership

  • Eric Swanson
Principal
Ballinger
    Eric Swanson Principal Ballinger

Ballinger focused a great deal of attention on the exam rooms. First of all, the firm designed the cabinetry to conceal the medical instruments that are usually on display. Finishes were carefully specified. For instance, when cork floors were rejected due to maintenance concerns, the architects found a rubber-vinyl alternative that looks like cork and supports the spa theme. The architects also concentrated on the lighting, creating an array of options. There's a single, recessed downlight in the ceiling; under-cabinet lighting; and task lighting. This strategy allows the physician to choose the appropriate illumination for the circumstances.

The Weill Greenberg Center is a Pebble Project, a joint research effort between the nonprofit Center for Health Design and selected healthcare providers. The purpose of the Pebble Project initiative is to cause a "ripple effect" in American healthcare by providing documented examples of facilities whose design has made a difference in the level of care and financial performance. Although findings on Weill Greenberg have not yet been published, there is preliminary feedback suggesting that the center's goals have been surpassed and that it will be a model for the next generation of healthcare design.

Sara Hart is a New York–based writer who has written extensively for publications such as Dwell and Architectural Record, where she was a former senior editor.

Project: Weill Greenberg Center at the Weill Cornell Medical College
Location: New York
Client: Cornell University
Architect: Polshek Partnership Architects, New York—Todd H. Schliemann (design partner); Duncan R. Hazard (management partner); Thomas J. Wong (senior designer); Lois E. Mate (project manager); Craig M. McIlhenny, David T. Ooyevaar (project architects); Edward J. Christian, Jesse K. Peck (job captains); Charmian C. Place (director of interior design); James M. Sinks (senior technical director); Steven Chang, Jane Lin, Amber Foo, Christopher Halloran, Gregory Haley, Elliott Hodges, Hanson Liu, Chee-Ping Kuek, Mimi Madigan, Lori Mazor, D. Clay Miller, Si-Yeon Min, James Rhee, Will Rosebro, Zoe Small, David Wallance (design team)
Healthcare Architect: Ballinger—Louis A. Meilink Jr., Eric Swanson (principals); Kusrin Dhamawongse (senior interior designer)
Landscape Design Judith Heintz Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design: Susan Brady Lighting Design
Structural Engineer: Severud Associates
M/E/P Engineer: Atkinson Koven Feinberg Engineers
Acoustics/I.T./A/V: Shen Milsom & Wilke
Curtain Wall: Evans Heintges Architects
Civil/Geotechnical: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
Graphics: Poulin + Morris
Zoning: Development Consulting Services
Security: Ducibella Venter & Santore Associates
Building Code: Jerome S. Gillman Consulting Architect
Specifications: Robert Schwartz & Associates
Environmental Impact: Allee King Rosen & Fleming
Traffic: Sam Schwartz Co.
Elevator Consultant: Iros Elevator Services
Medical Equipment: Equipment Planners
Cost Estimator: Wolf and Co.
Renderings: dbox
Construction Manager: Bovis Lend Lease