Case Study

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center Expansion Adding to the Fight Against Cancer

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

The Challenge

Provide operational and space programming services to relocate oncology inpatient beds into a vertical expansion of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, while initiating a new visual aesthetic and identity that is sensitive to the existing facility.

The Design Solution

A seven-story addition atop the existing four-story building fosters a collaborative and interactive relationship between research, teaching and patient care delivery components. HKS designers created an interior courtyard on the roof of the existing building that provides green space adjacent to patient rooms for increased privacy and a connection to natural light. We used an academic approach to analyze the best method of connecting the new to the old, while responding to existing forms and exterior surface treatments. A seamless integration of the new levels consists of brick veneer, aluminum panels, colored laminated glass, curtain wall and aluminum framed glazing.

The Design Impact

This $125 million vertical expansion adds four inpatient floors, a day hospital floor and one administrative floor, consolidating inpatient and outpatient services in a free-standing cancer hospital, the first such facility in the region. Both inpatients and outpatients now have access to radiation treatment, chemotherapy, imaging, clinical trials for new therapies and other outpatient services in a single location that also takes into consideration the comfort of their families. Upon completion, there were more than 200 cancer-related clinical trials underway at the Medical Center.

Project Features

  • 282,800 square feet (26,272 sm)
  • Seven stories
  • 16 critical care beds
  • 10 palliative care beds
  • 120 acute oncology beds
  • 12 bone marrow transplant beds


  • 2014 Business North Carolina, Building North Carolina Award – Best Medical Project