Project Spotlight: Yale New Haven Health Park Avenue Medical Center

Project Spotlight: Yale New Haven Health Park Avenue Medical Center

Using natural light as an intuitive wayfinding device is just one of the many reasons this project inspires! Recently, Shepley Bulfinch out of Boston, programmed, planned and designed the new 100,000-square-foot three-story facility shown here.

The facility opened in May and creates a hub for a unified patient care campus and links existing radiation/oncology and medical office buildings, organized around a central healing garden. The design elements were creatively implemented to overcome space issues and create a comfortable hub for patient care.

Main Entrance

Sheltered by a generous canopy, a circular patient drop-off at a prominent main entrance conveys a sense of welcome, with easy access to all services from the lobby. An enclosed pedestrian bridge connects the outpatient center to a new, adjacent 525-car, five-level garage. A Smilow Cancer Center satellite has its own entrance (and parking) on the lowest level and connects to the radiation oncology program in the adjoining building.

L-Shaped Design & Hidden Garage

The biggest challenge facing the design team was adding capacity on a tight site adjacent to a residential neighborhood, a Greek Orthodox Church, and the Merritt Parkway. Shepley Bulfinch designed a tilted L-shaped building to connect the existing structures, and nestled the garage among the buildings to minimize the impact on neighbors.

Healing Garden

In addition to connecting all the existing clinical facilities on the site, the new L-shaped building also created sheltered space for the Norma Pfriem Healing Garden, allowing Smilow patients access to a private, calming outdoor space. Glass-walled corridors overlook the garden, and private terraces provide patients with a relaxing location to receive treatments.

Efficient Interior

Delivering high-quality care in a comfortable environment was a priority, with patient and staff convenience the main focus. The interior programming of the new facility was designed to allow for relative speed of service, and 20,000 square feet of the existing medical buildings was renovated to provide a better flow for patient ease. The interior design shares a design vocabulary and materials with other Yale New Haven Health facilities, including terrazzo floors, wood panels, and fritted glass that balances patient privacy and clinician access.

By creating a comfortable hub for patient care in a suburban setting, YNHH was able to attract new patients and lighten the load on the hospital’s main campus.

Project Team

  • General contractor – Gilbane Building Co.
  • Landscape architecture – Towers/Golde LLC; Diane Devore
  • Landscape Architects Structural engineer – Spiegel Zamecnik & Shar Inc.
  • M/E/P design engineer – BR+A Consulting Engineers LLC
  • Geotechnical engineer – Langan
  • Engineering & Environmental Services
  • Civil engineer – Tighe & Bond


  3. Photography: Robert Benson