UPMC Mercy Pavilion

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Completed May 2023
  • 410,000 Square Feet
  • CM-at-Risk
  • $450M Project Value
Photo © Alan Karchmer

IKM was engaged as the healthcare-based program lead to assist with the design of the first vision facility of its kind in the Pittsburgh region. The new $450 million, 410,000-square-foot Mercy Pavilion is designated specifically for patients with limited mobility and vision impairment. The facility is comprised of a four-story clinical base which houses all patient-focused activities, and a five-story tower dedicated to research and clinical trials. IKM, along with partner HOK, consulted with one of the world’s few practicing blind architects, Chris Downey, AIA, on the project planning and design.


The ground floor houses the main entry lobbies as well as an optical shop, testing clinic, Grab-N-Go kiosk, retail pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and parking and bike storage for patients and visitors. Specialty clinics are located on the second floor with a total of 54 exam rooms and a minor procedure room. This level also includes a microbiology lab, staff support areas, and loading docks.

The third floor accommodates a refractive clinic and procedure suite, surgery department, satellite pharmacy, and stem cell and gene therapy mixing rooms. Eight operating rooms are supported by 32 pre/post bays designed to flex for both pre- and post-op patients. The physical medicine and rehabilitation and low vision clinics are housed on the fourth floor, as well as a rehabilitation gym, research and teaching labs, and a conference center.

The roof of the clinical base is divided into two distinct sections of green roof. One section caters to patient rehabilitation, offering a variety of materials and obstacles to traverse, while the other section focuses on hospitality for the adjacent conference center.

The interior design of the facility is catered specifically to patients of low or no vision. Special attention for all finish selections was given to contrast, texture, and sound absorption to ensure patients with limited mobility or sight can navigate the building with ease and confidence. In 2023, the UPMC Mercy Pavilion was awarded the Urban Land Institute’s Healthy Place Award, both locally and nationally.

Exterior Photography: © Alan Karchmer

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