IKM Inc

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center


Location: Pittsburgh,  PA
Completion: 2002
Project Area: 355,000 ft2
Services: Architecture


Designed by IKM Incorporated, the Hillman Cancer Center is UPMC Cancer Centers’ flagship treatment and research facility. As home to the state of the art clinical services of UPMC Cancer Centers and the nationally and internationally recognized cancer research of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the Hillman Cancer Center is the nucleus of the leading cancer program in Pennsylvania.

By integrating patient care activities and research endeavors into one location, the design of the Hillman Cancer Center maximizes the opportunities to translate promising research findings in the laboratory into effective new cancer therapies.

The Research Pavilion encompasses three levels. It is designed to accommodate approximately 450 laboratory personnel including research faculty, research associates, and laboratory technicians.  The laboratories were designed to maximize collaboration among investigators, to streamline the application of laboratory findings to patient care, and to facilitate the flow of information about clinical experiences back to researchers for further development and refinement. The Ambulatory Center contains clinical/treatment space and office support functions. The two pavilions were designed to emulate the surrounding hospital campus architecture.

One unique aspect of the Hillman Cancer Center is the atrium that links the Treatment Pavilion and the Research Pavilion, offering a warm environment for patients, visitors, physicians, scientists, and staff. The atrium features “Spirits’ Flight” an abstract sculpture that highlights the connection between art and healing. The meditation area and the garden provide patients and their families and friends a comforting space to reflect and share experiences. In addition, the Cancer Center captures the opportunity to display other art installations including the Circle of Care sculpture in the entrance drive.

The entire building is located over a 150-car underground parking garage and is connected to the hospital by a pedestrian bridge, allowing for safe, all-weather passage of patients and staff between the two facilities.
To say that the facility has been well received is almost an understatement. At the recent opening of the Hillman Cancer Center, the head of the National Cancer Institute said of the facility “This center epitomizes a new hope for cancer patients,” calling the facility “a model” that is ranked “right at the top,” when compared to the nation’s 60 other cancer centers.