FirstHealth Cancer Center

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To bridge regional gaps in cancer treatment as part of its $30M ‘Building the Dream’ campaign, FirstHealth of the Carolinas sought to establish one centralized cancer center that would eliminate the need for long-distance travel, connecting patients with the highest caliber of care, closer to home.

Photographer: Sterling E. Stevens

After a rigorous evaluation of national healthcare architecture firms, CPL was chosen to design a 120,000 sq. ft. cancer center addition to the Moore Regional Hospital campus in Pinehurst, NC, using an integrated project delivery (IPD) method.

Given the deeply personal and diverse nature of cancer treatment experiences, our design approach focused on creating inclusive spaces that catered to a wide range of patient needs. Primary objectives revolved around establishing non-clinical environments that fostered a strong sense of belonging. Essential factors like wayfinding and security were also prioritized to ensure a seamlessly navigable environment.

To achieve these cancer center design goals, we immersed ourselves in research, engaged in discussions with FirstHealth leadership, and actively collected feedback through patient journey mapping and surveys. From project kick off to closeout, our team maintained a commitment to overseeing the streamlined integration of final touches that culminated in a harmonious and balanced facility.

The center stands as the pinnacle of modern, patient-centric design. Spanning four levels, each at 30,000 sq. ft., this comprehensive facility establishes all essential treatment services under one roof, including chemotherapy infusion, gynecologic oncology, medical oncology, multidisciplinary clinics, palliative care, laboratories, clinical trials and radiation oncology, complete with two linear accelerators for advanced care.

The building’s horizontal frame complements the human scale, aligning with our natural field of vision to promote a sense of unity with the surroundings. The exterior’s innovative twisting design represents agile care that caters to patients’ shifting needs.

Notably, the center features two captivating healing gardens―a ground-level oasis at the main entrance and a second-floor rooftop haven adjacent to the chemotherapy infusion space. These gardens enhance the treatment experience with a tranquil ambiance.

Understanding the potential of natural views to have a positive impact on patient well-being, the building draws inspiration from its environment: the distinctive pine trees and the unique Sandhills landscape. Imagery reflective of these elements is seamlessly woven throughout the design.

The symbolism of the tree is particularly powerful, as it reflects the cancer experience—a symbol of resilience that withstands powerful storms, akin to the determination displayed by patients in overcoming challenges.

Upon entering, the lobby features a remarkable light fixture reminiscent of the region’s rolling dunes. Diverse check-in choices await visitors, including self-service kiosks for returning patients and a staffed registration for those seeking personal assistance.

A dedicated visitor center serves as an overflow waiting space, complete with a fireplace, warm detailing and computer stations for accessing online resources as patients and their loved ones await appointments.

Thoughtful design considerations are evident in every inch of the building, extending even to the chemotherapy infusion bays. These bays feature glass film walls of varying heights, integrated for both the healthcare staff’s essential visibility and the patients’ desire for personalized privacy during their treatment.

Moving to the third floor, the medical oncology and hematology clinic creates a serene atmosphere with larger-than-life floral decor reminiscent of Monet’s soothing waterscapes―a carefully chosen touch to bring solace to anxious patients.

Moreover, the fourth-floor wellness hub embraces a holistic care approach with fitness activities, art therapy, music, yoga and meditation spaces that wholly nurture the body, mind and spirit.

Proudly serving members of the Moore County community and beyond, the FirstHealth Cancer Center embodies a journey toward healing, where every step taken is supported by thoughtful design and compassionate care.