Award-Winning Design Cues That Come From Nature

Posted by on Nov 11, 2021 in Featured Artists and Inspirations
Award-Winning Design Cues That Come From Nature

Healthcare Design magazine recently selected Penn Medicine Radnor, by Ballinger, as a finalist in this year’s Design Showcase contest. The award-winning design takes its cues from nature. The judges had this to say:

“Overall, the design places buildings at the periphery and eliminates surface parking, creating more opportunities to introduce nature. Components of the master planned site (office building and hotel) connect via a network of walking paths, sharing amenities such as the outdoor gathering pavilion. Inside, light-filled spaces, a warm neutral palette, and nature-inspired graphics are integrated throughout.”

Jennifer Kovacs Silvis  (source)
Penn Medicine, Location: Radnor PA, Architect: Ballinger Architects – Photo Provided By Ballinger

Designed with the Patient in Mind

At 250,000 square feet — twice the size of the original Penn Medicine Radnor — the new facility offers state-of-the-art care not available elsewhere in the region. The building’s layout was designed along service lines that group together clinicians by type of condition they treat, such as heart and vascular care, to encourage closer collaboration among specialists and easy access when patients need to see multiple providers in one visit. 

Penn Medicine, Location: Radnor PA, Architect: Ballinger Architects – Photo Provided By Ballinger

“It’s more of a center model…, treating the whole patient,”

Tracey Commack, associate executive director (SOURCE)

Having patient-centered care means that cancer patients, benefit from all the expertise from Penn Medicine’s world-class physicians and staff and a slate of programs and treatment options that put Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center among the nation’s best — all within a short drive from home. Patients with cancer who visit Radnor can see specialists who treat their cancer from all angles — surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, plus supportive care teams — get advanced diagnostics and participate in the latest clinical trials without driving into Philadelphia.

Centralized registration means “patients only need to check-in in one place, one time, no matter how many appointments that day,” Commack said. “One HIPAA form to sign, one place to pay their copay.” And staying open to 9 pm during the week — and Saturday hours — will ensure that patients can get great care whenever it’s most convenient to them. (source)

Blurring the Distinction Between Indoors and Outdoors

The building and its attached garage form a U-shape around a courtyard, integrating it into the surrounding landscape and blurring the distinction between indoors and outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling glass brings light and views inside, while landscaped gardens, walking paths and groves of native plants invite occupants outdoors. Inspired by environmental stewardship and biophilia, the design embraces nature, physically and philosophically. It fosters a holistic healing experience through a soothing palette, connections to nature, and dignified accommodations for patients, family and caregivers. (source)

Designed with the Environment in Mind

Anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification, the 4-story facility adheres to Penn Medicine’s commitment to sustainability. Over 250 new trees were planted and the surrounding landscape includes four rain gardens and native plants designed for all four seasons. Water management elements are woven naturally throughout the grounds, where they reduce the environmental impact of run-off and create a welcoming environment for visitors and the larger community, as well as for birds, butterflies and other pollinators. (source)

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff


“Penn Medicine.”, 23 Apr. 2021,

“Penn Medicine Radnor: Raising the Bar on Clinical Care in the Community.” Penn Medicine,

Jennifer Kovacs Silvis. “Awards + Events.” HCD Mag,

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